We are thrilled and relieved that Battersea Arts Centre has been granted support through the Culture Recovery Fund, announced today. We would like to send a huge thank you to the Treasury, the Culture Secretary, and all at DCMS and Arts Council England.
After a very difficult six months, including losing 50% of our annual income due to the pandemic, this grant will ensure BAC’s survival for the immediate future, cover operating costs until March 2021 and allow us to deliver our plan to adapt BAC’s business and operating model for the long term. It will enable us to continue to present and produce new creative work; support and invest in artists, freelancers and young people; and build on vital collaborations with our local community and partner organisations across the UK and around the world.
Congratulations to all our friends across the sector who have been awarded funding today. The £1.57bn government support package is a huge boost for arts and cultural and we are appreciative of HM Treasury, DCMS and ACE’s fantastic show of support through this investment.
We also recognise that help will not reach everyone who needs it. Our thoughts are with those who were not successful, as well as with members of our freelance community who were not able to access support. We appreciate the important role BAC has to play here, and are committed to doing everything we can to support our highly-skilled freelance community, without whom the work we do would be quite literally impossible.
By ring-fencing funds in BAC’s 20/21 budget, we had already committed to supporting the freelance workforce including through artist commissions, and freelance specialists such as technicians. The grant announced today secures BAC’s future to further support the freelancers – and we look forward to announcing news on the work we will be doing in the coming months.
Our Artistic Director and CEO, Tarek Iskander, said:
“This has been a hugely difficult period for everyone in the Creative Industries, no doubt – so it’s important for us to take a moment to celebrate a hugely positive step for our sector. This money will support us to keep investing in the creative people and the artistic ideas that our communities desperately need from us right now.
At BAC, we have already had to take some very difficult decisions in the past few months. This has been necessary to allow us to keep commissioning new work throughout this period, as well as secure our future for generations to come. This has been an extremely painful process, and we aren’t out of the woods yet, but together with the government’s support, it means we can now look to the future with some renewed confidence and quite a lot of renewed hope.
Over the past months we have been overwhelmed by the active support we’ve received from our community, our artists, our funders and our partners. And, as always, we are constantly seeking ways that we can deliver vital support to others. Our attention has always been on the many creative freelancers, local residents and partner organisations who are continuing to struggle in this pandemic – and we are determined to do everything we can to help. By working together, and harnessing the best of our creative practice, we can definitely build a brighter and more just future.”