Watermans receives lifeline grant from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Watermans has been awarded £144,669 from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.

Published: Tuesday, 13th October 2020

Watermans receives lifeline grant from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Watermans is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £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. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Watermans is West London’s arts centre, comprising a theatre, gallery, cinema and creative workshops and courses in its venue. It also leads large-scale outreach programmes across the borough of Hounslow and beyond, including Creative People and Places in Hounslow (ACE’s key investment in building arts engagement and infrastructure), and programming and producing Bell Square, outer London’s only purpose-built outdoor venue. Watermans is also a vital hub for artists, providing rehearsal space and supporting artists at the start of their careers, and for the families of disabled children for whom Watermans provides a year-round programme of cinema, theatre and creative activities.

The funding will enable Watermans to plan with confidence for 2021, continuing to bring the arts and creativity to West London communities, both in the venue, around Hounslow and in its growing digital programme.

Hounslow has also benefitted from an award of £308,000 being made to Chiswick House and Gardens from the Cultural Recovery Fund.


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.”


Jan Lennox, Director of Watermans said:

“This was such fantastic news to receive. It is recognition of the incredibly hard work our team has put in to respond to the pandemic creatively in order to keep serving our communities – launching digital programmes, reopening at the earliest possible opportunity and constantly innovating and diversifying the programme. This funding will allow us to look forward with much more confidence and take the risks necessary to keep bringing the best arts and culture to our communities and support artists to do that”


Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services said:

“This funding award for Watermans in wonderful news for the cultural landscape of the whole of Hounslow. Watermans has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, diversifying their programme to ensure that audiences can still enjoy rich cultural experiences, especially important during this very difficult time.

“It would be unthinkable for this wonderful institution not to be able to continue promoting and supporting the arts and bringing joy to the communities it serves. This funding is a lifeline that will ensure its survival into the future and we are very grateful to Arts Council England for this award.”

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