Roundhouse and Phoenix Cinema awarded grants to help them reopen

The Phoenix Cinema was due to open on Thursday. Picture: Siorna Ashby

The Phoenix Cinema was due to open on Thursday. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

A further £9.1 million has been handed out in grants to help local theatres, museums, galleries and music venues recover from the pandemic and reopen safely.

Under the Government's roadmap, theatres, cinemas and music venues can open their doors from May 17. The latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund includes £1.5 million for essential building maintenance at the Roundhouse as they prepare to host live events. 

Hampstead's Freud Museum, The Jewish Museum in Camden Town and contemporary art gallery Camden Arts Centre in Arkwright Road were awarded £40,000, £49,000 and £58,000 respectively. 

And Hampstead Theatre, which last month announced it would reopen in May was awarded £231,400.

Artistic director Roxana Silbert said: "COVID makes planning a challenge. This funding is a lifeline that allows us to plan beyond our current productions of Alfred Fagon's The Death of a Black Man and Deborah Bruce's Raya. We are desperate to get back to making live theatre and sharing remarkable stories with our much-missed audiences."

Elsewhere, Clean Break and Complicite theatre companies - both based in Kentish Town - were awarded grants alongside Hampstead youth organisation WAC Arts, and the English Folk Dance and Song Society based in Primrose Hill. The Good Mixer, Jazz Cafe, and Electric Ballroom were among Camden's legendary live music venues given a helping hand.

In a separate announcement, independent cinema grants handed out through the BFI included £107,000 for Arthouse Crouch End and £138,000 for East Finchley's Phoenix Cinema - Britain's oldest movie theatre in continuous use.

Dame Judi Dench. Picture: PA/Matt Crossick

Dame Judi Dench. Picture: PA/Matt Crossick - Credit: Empics Entertainment

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Phoenix patron Dame Judi Dench said: “Local cinemas are a vital part of our cultural lives, enthralling us with films about lives that we recognise as well as offering us stories about other cultures from around the world. They are places where people come together for a shared experience and have inspired many to make their careers on screen. We need to make sure that generations today and in the future have the same opportunities to enjoy the big screen experience.”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said grants and loans of more than £1.2 billion to 5,000 cultural and heritage organisations had helped them "survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced".

"Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors."

The exterior of The Roundhouse, in Chalk Farm Road. Picture: John Williams

The exterior of The Roundhouse, in Chalk Farm Road. Picture: John Williams - Credit: John Williams

Roundhouse CEO Marcus Davey said while they had managed to run a creative online programme with young people during the pandemic, the building itself has been "sadly inactive".

"The Grade II* listed Roundhouse is in need of some essential work to ensure it is safe for audiences to return. This money will help us repair our historic building and rebuild our staff team to support our artistic and youth programmes as we reopen. We know how challenging this year has been for everyone but there finally feels like light at the end of the tunnel, and we can’t wait to welcome artists, audiences, young people and the whole team back."