Entertainment: Halifax Square Chapel and Northern Broadsides get Arts Council funding despite cuts elsewhere



The Square Chapel Arts Center – which was rescued after opening in 2020 – will receive almost half a million pounds over the next three years.

He plans to use the money to develop the venue so it can support people with disabilities and neurodiversity and bring a greater range of creative, artistic and cultural events to Halifax.

It also intends to support providing cultural organizations in the borough with spaces, resources and advice to sustain their creative practice.

People line up for the premiere of Gentleman Jack at Square Chapel in Halifax

“Having saved Square Chapel from administration during a global pandemic, this investment gives us the stability we need to rebuild over the next three years,” said David Jenkins, Square Chapel’s chief executive.

“In addition to our commitment to increasing access to the arts, we will develop local people and talent to lead and shape the creative and cultural program we manage.

“As a result, Square Chapel will be a relevant, community-driven creative hub for the people of Calderdale and beyond, long into the future.”

Northern Broadsides has retained its Arts Council funding, receiving £779,952 over three years, which it says will help it continue despite difficult times.

Northern Broadsides bring their production of JM Barrie’s Quality Street next year

But the company has not received additional money for a proposed project to develop the next generation of voices from across the North.

Artistic Director and CEO Laurie Sansom said: “We are delighted to have received continued investment from Arts Council England.

“After 12 years of grants for Broadsides, we were hoping to receive an enhancement that would have helped secure our future as a medium-sized touring business and enabled us to develop our vision to reach more young people in the region.

“We will now look to work with our partners to explore how we can still deliver part of this crucial project.

“We are still one of many cultural organizations facing an uncertain future, especially as touring becomes increasingly difficult, and we are eager to hear what additional support there might be for this part in difficulty of theater ecology.

“We are so grateful to our friends and audiences across the country for their fierce loyalty and support, and we look forward to seeing them on the road on our 2023 Quality Street Tour.”

Public money from the government, as well as from the National Lottery, is used by Arts Council England to support arts and culture across the country.

A revamp aimed at moving millions of pounds from central London to other parts of the country has seen some institutions in the capital lose some of their grants.

Northern Broadsides said that although the announcement was positive for them, they send their “thoughts and love to those who have to come to terms with big change today”.

Arts Council England is also continuing its support for the creative writing charity Arvon Foundation, which has moved its headquarters to Lumb Bank near Hebden Bridge – the former home of Ted Hughes.

In addition to receiving investment for its courses, the Writers and Poets Retreat recently received a capital grant from the Arts Council to help make the 18th-century miller’s house more accessible.

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