Culture Recovery Fund Lifeline

The Forum Music Studios receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

The Forum Music Studios, Darlington has been awarded £106,000 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 Forum Music Studios 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.

As a social enterprise The Forum Darlington provides dedicated facilities where bands and artists can perform and perfect their craft. It is a cultural community hub that houses a music school, recording studio with dedicated engineer and specialist sound and production crew. This fund will enable us to get back to scheduling quality live music in a safe environment for our appreciative and supportive community.

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.”

Allison Mckay CEO of the Forum Music Studios, said:

“We are all absolutely elated by this news and so grateful for the support from the Cultural Recovery Fund. This fund will secure the Forum and the continued employment of our team through this pandemic. It will also ensure that bands, artists and appreciative audiences can continue to engage and enjoy live music in Darlington at a quality grassroots venue.”

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.

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 several bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and unprecedented support package of £1.57 billion for the culture and heritage sector. Find out more at

 #HereForCulture #CultureRecoveryFund