Reading Place of Culture support to the arts and culture sector

Article date
15 April 2020
Primary interest
Arts and Crafts

The Reading, Place of Culture team, which is made up of Reading Borough Council, the University of Reading and Reading UK, is reaching out during these unprecedented times to support Reading’s cultural sector.

Culture helps people live rich and fulfilled lives and, in these difficult times, it will help sustain people, communities and our country. When the crisis is over, it will help our recovery. It is therefore vital that we support the arts, culture and heritage sectors as much as we can so that you can continue give people a chance to express and enjoy themselves and promote strong and prosperous communities.

Funding support

Public funding is the bedrock of many cultural organisations’ income and we know that by collaborating we can better help the cultural sector. We are working closely with national funding bodies to align our support during the current crisis. Arts Council England (ACE) has announced that it will relax funding conditions and advance payments to help organisations. Reading Borough Council are similarly extending deadlines and relaxing conditions for our Cultural Commissions and Cultural Education Partnership projects funded by Artswork. Where organisations receive funding from both national funders and local government, we will seek to align our approaches as far as possible.

Our priority is to stabilise a cultural sector facing existential challenges, including organisations of every size and the freelance and self-employed workforce. We have a diverse and complex cultural ecology and we should act carefully with an eye to the future and we must not allow the impacts of this crisis to entrench inequality. We want to ensure that people in all places and from every background benefit from available support.

Arts Council England are making £160 million of emergency funding available and the National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50 million fund. We are here to support you in navigating these funds and applying for support.

See the Reading, Place of Culture website for advice and information, including:
  • A Podcast addressing ACE application questions
  • An ACE application support webinars on 21 April. Please sign up in advance.
  • One-to-one support where possible. Please contact in the first instance and your query will be redirected to one of the Reading, Place of Culture team.

Additionally, we are in the process of developing an online platform which will support artists in creating new work and communities in accessing culture for their well being in these isolated times.

In the meantime, check out what the arts and heritage community are already delivering online and make sure you let us know if you are doing something that we haven’t already picked up on: Reading Live events on What’s On Reading.