Watersmeet to reopen after receiving £175,000 grant from Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Updated: 14 October 2020

Watersmeet theatre in Rickmansworth is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations receiving urgently needed support to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure they have a sustainable future.

Watersmeet theatre in Rickmansworth will reopen after being awarded £175,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

The venue, which is owned and run by Three Rivers District Council, is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure they have a sustainable future.  Full details on when Watersmeet will reopen and the initial programme will be announced in due course.

£257 million of investment was announced on 12 October 2020 by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding are due to be announced in the coming weeks.

Welcoming the announcement, Cllr Chris Lloyd, Lead Member for Leisure at Three Rivers District Council, said: “I welcome this grant as it will mean Watersmeet can re-open and will ensure continued access to the arts for our most vulnerable communities during COVID-19. It will also enable us to put on live arts events with smaller audiences to meet all the social distancing requirements.”

Josh Sills, Watersmeet Venue Manage, commented: “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 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. This funding will allow us to reopen to the community with live shows very soon.”

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.”