Link4Life receives lifeline grant from government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

Date published: 13 October 2020

Link4Life has been awarded over £600,000 to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure a sustainable future, as part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The cultural and creative organisation has received £666,457 which will help secure the future of Rochdale’s best-loved venues, including Middleton Arena, Heywood Civic Theatre, Touchstones Museum & Gallery.

Link4Life CEO, Andy King said: “We’re relieved to receive this investment in what has been a really difficult time for culture in Rochdale.

“Prior to the outbreak of Covid, Link4Life was enjoying a great season, and was proud to stage the first West End production, Frankenstein, at Middleton Arena and to partner with the Natural History Museum and Rochdale Borough Council to bring Dippy on Tour to the borough.

“Due to Covid, cultural venues across the country closed and whilst we have been able to partly reopen Touchstones Museum & Gallery, we remain unable to present live performances at Middleton Arena and Heywood Civic Centre, reducing income from ticket sales and trading. Now more than ever the trust is committed to working with partners in Rochdale and beyond, to ensure that our communities can enjoy access to great arts and culture.”


Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure exhibition at Touchstones
Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure exhibition has been able to reopen at Touchstones but with restricted visitor numbers


Both local MPs, Chris Clarkson (Heywood and Middleton) and Tony Lloyd (Rochdale) have welcomed the funding.

Mr Clarkson said he could think of ‘few worthier cases’ and Mr Lloyd said this is a ‘critical opportunity to strengthen culture’.

Link4Life is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced as part of the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England.

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

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