Bristol Beacon receives £6.2m Capital Kickstart grant from Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

We are pleased to announce that Bristol Beacon has been awarded a £6.2m Capital Kickstart grant towards our transformation programme as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Bristol Beacon is one of seven organisations across the South West to be awarded funding, and the only one in Bristol; across the country we are one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million today. The Capital Kickstart grants programme helps organisations cover costs added to capital projects such as building works, refurbishments, and large-scale equipment purchases by pandemic-related delays or fundraising shortfalls.

Today DCMS also announces that £165 million from the Culture Recovery Fund has been offered in repayable loans to help 11 major cultural organisations survive the loss of income caused by the crisis. This follows previous rounds of the Culture Recovery Fund, including the Grants programme which distributed £428 million to over 2,000 cultural organisations across the country, and the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund.

Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Beacon, said:

“We are so grateful to Arts Council England for this £6.2 million award from the Cultural Recovery Fund: Capital Kickstart towards Bristol Beacon’s redevelopment. This is a major contribution that will have a significant impact on our capital programme.

“The transformation of our building is a hugely ambitious and complex project that will deliver one of the best music venues in the UK when it’s completed. However, it is a challenging construction programme that has thrown up many surprises along the way, and the impact of COVID this year has caused further complications. This funding means that we can confidently continue with our original transformation plans, ensuring we are able to deliver a world-class music venue and education centre, providing a diverse artistic programme and accessible music education for children and young people across Bristol. Having the continued support of Arts Council England on this project means a great deal to us.”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “This government promised it would be here for culture and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word.

“The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications.

“Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture – so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “We are really pleased to announce seven awards from the Culture Recovery Fund: Capital Kickstart across the South West today. This latest tranche of funding to be announced from the Government’s generous package of support for the arts, culture and heritage sector ensures that many of the regions ambitious and ongoing cultural developments – that have been delayed due to Covid-19 – can now securely get back on track to reopening and serving their communities with fantastic cultural experiences.”

The transformation of Bristol Beacon forms Phase Two of Bristol’s biggest ever redevelopment programme in the arts sector. The first stage involved the construction of the £20 million foyer space, which opened in 2009. Phase Two started in 2018.

Charles Hazlewood, Artistic Director and founder of Paraorchestra, said:

“This award to Bristol Beacon is real recognition of the importance of enabling music for all and a great result for the future of music in Bristol. It is a significant contribution that will help to deliver a fully accessible, world-class hall in our city for everyone to enjoy.”

In 2017, Paraorchestra were announced as Bristol Beacon’s first Associate Artists – a partnership that will see both organisations joining forces to imagine and implement innovative approaches to live music programming, in particular focusing on ensuring a diverse range of creative voices are heard and highlighted.

In addition, it was also announced on Friday 11 December that Bristol Beacon would receive £130,000 from the Wolfson Foundation.

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: “We are delighted to provide this funding to Bristol Music Trust as one of 80 organisations across the UK backed by our Covid-19 Support Fund. This pandemic is a time of significant challenge and uncertainty for performing arts venues and we hope our flexible funding shows solidarity as well as support for such a vital and dynamic organisation.”

Bristol Beacon is extremely grateful for the funding awards made to support us through the impacts of Covid-19 on our transformation project and our business this year.

Welcome to
Bristol Beacon

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon.

Our new name is just the first step, it is about more than the sign above our door. Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

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