Three much loved centres of important cultural, artistic and historical significance in Enfield have received more than £670,000 to safeguard their futures.
Following applications from Enfield Council, Forty Hall has received £137,000 from the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) for Heritage while the Dugdale Centre and Millfield Theatre have been given £534,995 from the CRF grants programme.
The awarded money will go towards operating costs and continuing to keep the venues COVID-secure. Plus, with more arts and culture being curated online, the venues will look at more dynamic, digital offerings alongside smaller, socially-distanced community events and performances in late 2020 and into 2021.
Enfield Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Ian Barnes, said: “We are delighted that this essential lifeline has been given to our cultural gems across the borough. The pandemic has been an incredibly damaging time for the Arts & Culture and the funding will go some way in the short term, but we will continue to lobby the government to further support our venues through this difficult period.
“In the meantime, Enfield Council officers have done a superb job of making the venues as safe as possible for visitors. There are no other venues of sufficient size or capabilities in Enfield to undertake such a broad programme of activities and events. It is therefore imperative that we support culture in Enfield which will in turn enrich the borough for our residents, create jobs, support livelihoods and empower communities.”
Forty Hall and the surrounding estate are an invaluable hub for heritage in Enfield and a key part of its cultural infrastructure. In recent years it has also become the cornerstone of sustainable enterprise with a working farm and gift shop offering a range of goods from small, local artisan producers.
The Dugdale Centre and Millfield Theatre are also important cultural and artistic venues in the borough. Each curates its own programme of events including comedy, talks, theatre and family shows and they also host community and local cultural organisations. While the two venues remained closed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, staff were redeployed to help with the Council’s outreach programme “Enfield Stands Together” compiling essential food packages for some of the most vulnerable and isolated in the borough.
Other Enfield arts institutions to have benefited from the CRF are inclusive theatre company Chickenshed, intercultural theatre company Border Crossings and dance promoter Radioactive Clothing.