Petherton Arts Trust receives lifeline grant for The David Hall from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

Petherton Arts Trust (PAT) has been awarded a grant of £51,476.00 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.

PAT – which owns and runs The David Hall performing arts centre in South Petherton – is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced 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.

“To say that we are delighted would be a massive understatement,” said Tom Davies, speaking on behalf of the Board of Petherton Arts Trust. “This substantial grant means that we can stave off the financial consequences of the past six months and – as and when the pandemic allows – look forward to The David Hall reopening fully. Meanwhile, we are welcoming reduced numbers of supporters to our few current events – although we have an exciting programme in the run-up to Christmas.”

The David Hall was formerly a United Reform Church and occupies a prominent position in South Petherton. It is renowned for its live music events – mainly Folk, Blues and Acoustic – and also offers a range of further entertainment, including coffee mornings, quizzes, ceilidhs, talks, drama and dance performances. Plus, it is home to Petherton Picture Show. Due to the pandemic, The David Hall’s usual programme has been replaced mainly by music performances which are streamed into peoples’ homes. The result has been a dramatic decrease in income.

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.”

Anne Brown, who is PAT’s Finance Officer and submitted the application on behalf of the Trust for the £51,476.00 Culture Recovery Fund, commented:

“It is a huge relief to know that The David Hall has a substantial amount of funding for the immediate future. We do not know how much longer we shall need to cope with the pandemic but meanwhile, with the invaluable support of our patrons, volunteers and the local community, we shall continue to offer whatever entertainment we can.”