04:16PM, Thursday 08 April 2021
Norden Farm, Altwood Road, MaidenheadJane Corry (centre) and staff members celebrating receiving a £341,000 grant.
Staff at Norden Farm are ‘over the moon’ after discovering it has been awarded a £146,000 grant from the Government, helping to ensure it can provide arts and culture to the ‘next generation’.
It was revealed last Friday by the culture secretary Oliver Dowden that the centre for arts in Altwood Road will be receiving the grant as part of the nationwide £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund.
Following the announcement, chief executive Jane Corry and the rest of the Norden Farm team have been full of optimism and grateful for the much needed ‘breathing space.’
Jane said “We are over the moon to receive this grant and hugely grateful to Arts Council England and DCMS.
“It’s giving us some vital breathing space as we navigate the financial impact of the months of closures and reduced capacities, together with the reduction of core funding this year. It increases our chances of being here for the next generation.
“Providing access to the arts for all, which we’ve all re-discovered over the pandemic, can really support our mental health and well-being.”
Before Friday’s announcement, Norden Farm was in desperate need of funding after the council slashed the amount it would receive in next year’s budget by £80,000, down from the £141,000 it received in 2020/21.
Speaking to councillors in March, Norden Farm chief executive Jane Corry warned the centre would become a ‘hall for hire’ without the funding.
Now, however, Jane can look ahead without worrying how the centre will make ends meet. The centre plans to use the funds to ‘bridge the gap’ between operating costs and income during the spring and summer months.
It also plans to use it to support costs for new income-generating activities that will help ensure the charity is more sustainable in the future.
Norden Farm also hopes to use some of the grant funding for its outreach programme, providing arts activities for even more disadvantaged people in the area.
In total, £2.1m in grants has been split between 19 organisations in Berkshire, including theatres, galleries and performance groups, helping them reopen and recover from the losses of COVID-19.