Brixton House receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

Brixton House has been awarded £250,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

Brixton House 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.

Formerly known as Ovalhouse, Brixton House will open to the public in late 2021. The new theatre will be in the heart of Brixton, an area internationally renowned for its rich community and cultural heritage from the global diaspora. This exciting new development is a definitive step in the organisation’s history. Already known for its bold approach, the soon to open Brixton House will continue to invite artists to create ambitious and conscientious work.

Brixton House aims to be a cultural hub and space that defines theatre-making for a new generation of makers, artists, writers, producers, technicians, and audiences. Brixton House’s receipt of this grant affirms their commitment to inspiring new artistic experiences that develop community solidarity and social change.

The new venue will house two theatres and seven rehearsal studios, equipped with state-of-the-art, fully accessible technical facilities including wheelchair-accessible lighting rigs. There will also be a café-bar for social gatherings, as well as office spaces for creative organisations in the adjoining and newly-refurbished Carlton Mansions.

Gbolahan Obisesan, Brixton House’s Artistic Director and CEO, said:

It is with delight we welcome the news that we are amongst the recipients of this vital Culture Recovery Fund. This funding helps us to make crucial ongoing plans in the work we will be doing over the next six months to make Brixton House a more robust venue for our opening next year in 2021.

We are extremely grateful to the Arts Council England, DCMS, our local MPs and the many individual cultural advocates, who have contributed to securing this much needed boost for organisations like ours. 

We are very much still in the process of building and sharing our story; and this fund most importantly allows us a chance to retain our aspirations, so we are able to offer tangible opportunities for the international communities of Brixton to contribute towards maintaining the future of our sector. 

Our community is made up of brilliant artists who have had their futures and livelihoods decimated by the profoundly unrelenting pandemic. In the funding, we have received from the Governments £1.57bn recovery fund we can invest in the future of our creatives, explore digital alternatives, and significantly commit to supporting our artistic communities to find new ways theatre can remain a life source for all. 

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.”