Darlington Hippodrome has been successful in a £1million funding bid to Arts Council England Culture Recovery Fund.

This grant will help the theatre offset losses from cancelled productions, retain jobs, and secure the long-term future of the theatre, as well as supporting our current programme of socially-distanced events and activities including backstage tours, classes in drama, dance and art for young people and adults, and classic cinema screenings.

Councillor Andy Keir, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for local services said: “Arts and culture are of vital importance to the local economy and to the wellbeing of Darlington residents.

“Our much-loved Edwardian theatre, Darlington Hippodrome, is integral to the cultural landscape of the town and the wider region, and we are thrilled that this grant, alongside continued funding from Darlington Borough Council, will help secure its future.”

Heather Tarran-Jones, the Hippodrome’s Director of Programming and Development, said: “We are delighted and relieved to receive news of this grant this morning. Our sector has been hit hard by the pandemic and we are very grateful to receive support from central government, administered through ACE, as part of a £1.57 billion package to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.

“I am proud that as a venue we have continued to deliver activity throughout this crisis, first online and, since September, in our beautiful venue. This grant will mean that these activities can continue, but we still need the support of the public, and want to thank everyone who has helped us, whether by a donation, a ticket to an event, or a cup of coffee in the Hippo Lounge.”

The grant has been awarded as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the culture and heritage organisations face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure a sustainable future for the sector.