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Watersmeet to receive £63,500 from third round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

30th November 2021

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Music, drama and comedy will light up the stage of Watersmeet Theatre in the coming year thanks to a significant government grant, it has been announced.

The £63,500 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund will enable the renowned Rickmansworth cultural venue to continue to host a variety of live performances including comedy nights, children’s shows and tribute acts to encourage local residents of all ages back to the theatre.

The 515 seat theatre opened in 1975 and is owned by Three Rivers District Council. The venue’s main auditorium incorporates a unique floor which can transform from a fully tilted theatre style set-up to a flat floor and even a dance floor at the push of a button.

Cllr Chris Lloyd, Lead Member for Leisure at the council, said: “I know how important this funding is to Watersmeet and how hard the team has worked to enable the venue to put on a variety of shows.  We know the public are keen to return to live entertainment and now it’s all about the confidence within the community.” 

Watersmeet is also home to Artistsmeet, a contemporary exhibition space which has been created in the theatre’s foyer and hosts a variety of artists’ work.

More than £100 million has been awarded to hundreds of cultural organisations across the country including Watersmeet in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced on Thursday.

The third round of funding will support organisations from all corners of the sector as they deal with ongoing reopening challenges, ensuring they can thrive in better times ahead.

Josh Sills, Watersmeet Venue Manager said: “I’d like to thank the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England for awarding this funding to our theatre. This money will allow us to develop further and continue to be the cultural hub of the district.  Watersmeet plays a vital and significant role especially for the underprivileged areas, in introducing young people to theatre and is often the place where they will experience their first live performance.”

Over £1.2 billion has already been awarded from the unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, supporting around 5000 individual organisations and sites across the country ranging from local museums to West End theatres, grassroots music venues to festivals, and organisations in the cultural and heritage supply-chains.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from.

“Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “This continued investment from the Government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives.”

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision inLet’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk.  

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s unprecedented Culture Recovery Funds. Find out more at www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19.  

Council spokesperson

Cllr Chris Lloyd, the council’s Lead Member for Leisure

Group spokespeople

Cllr Alex Hayward – Leader of the Conservative Group

Cllr Stephen Cox – Leader of the Labour Group

Cllr Alex Michaels – Independent Councillors Group Joint Leader