THE Palace Theatre in Redditch has been awarded £173,000 to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.

Rubicon Leisure’s Palace Theatre, on Alcester Street, is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF)

£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.

Paul Hughes, from the Palace Theatre, said: "This funding will help in protecting and supporting this historic venue which was required to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This massive support package will protect the theatre for future generations and will allow us to continue to provide a base for the performing arts in the town.

"We can look forward to a future where we can once again deliver a diverse range of shows and events designed to create a memorable entertainment experience at the Palace.

"As soon as it is safe to do so we look forward to welcoming you back through our doors”

The Palace Theatre opened its doors in 1913 and has been entertaining audiences ever since.

The funding will help support ongoing costs during the current pandemic to ensure it continues to entertain audiences for years to come along with providing a much loved community facility for local drama groups, operatic societies, dance schools and Palace Youth Theatre.

Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

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.”