English Symphony Orchestra to receive £98,151 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

2 Apr, 2021

  • ESO among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
  • This award will help the orchestra prepare for its return to live music-making by supporting virtual concerts and recordings, continuing our provision of youth activity and concerts for people living with dementia, and assisting the work of our administrative team during the transition to performances in front of live audiences.

The Worcester-based English Symphony Orchestra, The International Orchestra of Elgar Country, has received a grant of £98,151 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including ESO in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The English Symphony Orchestra continued their provision of youth work even through the strict first lockdown in the spring of 2020, offering online youth orchestra courses for over three-hundred young musicians free of charge, including sectionals and coachings with ESO musicians. ESO players have continued to give performances crafted for the needs of people living with dementia in the care home sector, and the ESO was one of the first orchestras to return to work in a COVID-secure environment when restrictions allowed. Since last July, their Music from Wyastone series of virtual concerts has presented a distinctive programme of events, including over 30 world premieres of new works and arrangements including an ‘Art of Storytelling’ series specifically focussed on families.  The Culture Recovery Fund will support the delivery of ESO’s online concerts through the coming months, allow the orchestra to resume in-person youth workshops, and support the work of the ESO’s administration, marketing and fundraising team as the orchestra prepares for its return to live concerts with an appearance at the 2021 Three Choirs Festival in July.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

ESO Chief Operating Officer, Andy Farquharson said:

“The Culture Recovery Fund not only helps ESO as an organisation to continue making music, but will also benefit people of all ages in our community through our performance, engagement and educational opportunities that have always been important aspects of our work”.

ESO Artistic Director, Kenneth Woods said:

“Like all cultural organisations in the UK, the ESO has weathered an unprecedented storm over the last twelve months. Through it all, our team, our musicians and our board have worked tirelessly to keep the music playing and to stay engaged in our community. This support from the Culture Recovery Fund is not only very welcome, but absolutely essential for us continuing on the path to a full recovery.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:

“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.

We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.


Notes to Editors

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Find out more at www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19.

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon.

For further information on the Three Choirs Festival visit 3choirs.org

For further press information please contact eso@eso.co.uk