The Forum awarded share of government's Culture Recovery Fund

ARTS venue The Forum is to receive a share of the Culture Recovery Fund announced by the government today.

The sum - £100,000 - will help the Barrow venue to face the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic over the next six months.

The Forum provides an ongoing programme of performances such as live theatre, comedy, dance and music. It also hosts conferences and events.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the programme has been postponed to ensure the safety of both visitors, artists and staff.

Speaking today after receiving news of the award, Councillor Shaun Blezard, Barrow Borough Council’s lead member for Arts, Culture and Leisure, said: “This award will provide a desperately needed boost to The Forum as we head into the months of winter.

“It will help to ensure our hardworking and incredibly skilled team can make plans for the performances and events we know thousands of people enjoy every year as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Cllr Blezard added: “This is an incredibly tough time for arts venues across the country. The Forum has always offered a range of performances to make sure there is something to appeal to everyone, helping to draw many visitors into the area every year.

“In Barrow, we have always considered arts and culture as something that should be celebrated and enjoyed. The funding confirmed today is crucial to ensure this offer continues into the future.”

The Forum is operated by Barrow Borough Council. It hosts around 250 shows every year watched by more than 700,000 people.

 It is one of 1,385 arts venues to receive a share of the £257 million Cultural Recovery Fund.

The money will come from the treasury but will be administered by Arts Council England.

Arts Council England chair, 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 is a difficult time for us all, but this first round of funding from the culture recovery fund will help sustain hundreds of cultural spaces and organisations that are loved and admired by local communities and international audiences.”