12th Oct 2020

The English Chamber Orchestra receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fun

​The English Chamber Orchestra has been awarded £102,000.00 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

The ECO is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Seven months ago almost to the day, the ECO gave its last performance in public. The imposition of lockdown meant all subsequent performances, recordings and tours were cancelled for the rest of the year and the outlook for the orchestra looked catastrophic. A few engagements were hastily arranged for some members of the orchestra but there was a real danger that the ECO would not survive and, in its 60th anniversary season, become a footnote in music history.

The funding received from the Arts Council today has had a significant impact on its continuation as one of the country’s leading chamber orchestras. The ECO can now confidently plan for the future with the knowledge that its activities both in concert but also in its innovative education programme can recommence.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

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

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Paul Wing, General Manager of the ECO, said:

Receiving this news this morning has, quite simply, preserved the future of the ECO. With no income from concerts to run the orchestra, pay staff and keep the office going since March, finances were close to breaking point. This is an extremely welcome grant to ensure the ECO’s future in this its 60th anniversary season.

For more details contact: Paul Wing at paul.wing@englishchamberorchestra.co.uk or call the ECO office at 020 8840 6565