A £200,000 cash injection will help Middlesbrough Town Hall secure and develop its role as the beating heart of the town’s cultural life.
The historic venue has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with its 2020 programme halted by lockdown and the ongoing restrictions.
But exciting new plans – including cinema and live streaming – are now in the pipeline thanks to the investment that recognises the importance culture plays in Middlesbrough’s covid recovery.
The much-needed funding from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund that will help the Town Hall find new ways of operating until the spring when it is hoped a gradual return to normality will be under way.
Exciting innovations will enable the building to live stream shows and project cinema.
The grant will also support work to ensure the building is Covid-19 secure, in the face of social distancing requirements which have led to massive falls in hire fees and box office income.
Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for communities and education, said: “The Town Hall is the beating heart of Middlesbrough’s cultural life, but like so many venues up and down the country, its programme has been completely derailed by the pandemic.
“This crucial funding is so timely and will give an welcome boost to the team who are working so hard to maintain this historic venue’s status as one of the region’s most important focal points for arts and culture.
“But it’s not standing still – the introduction of cinema and live streaming will be an amazing new string to the Town Hall’s bow, bringing in new audiences and creating new sources of revenue.”
The Town Hall was one of nearly 1,400 organisations – including leading theatres, venues, festivals and arts spaces – to land a share of the £257 million Government fund.