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Statement released by The Continental and The Ferret after Arts Council funding landed

Posted on - 21st October, 2020 - 9:25pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Sign at the Continental Pic: Tony Worrall
The Continental Pic: Tony Worrall

It has recently been announced that The Continental and The Ferret in Preston will be receiving a grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund awarded by The Arts Council.

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The vital funding comes as Lancashire was placed into tier-three restrictions by the government.

The Continental is currently allowed to stay open under the restrictions, but The Ferret is having to close its doors temporarily despite a successful few weeks of social distanced live music events.

Read more: The Ferret and The Continental granted nearly £400,000 of funding

In reaction to the funding news, the owners of The Ferret and The Continental told Blog Preston: “The music and arts side of the venues have always been run on a not-for-profit basis and, indeed, over the years has been heavily self-subsidised in order to be sustainable.

“Our commitment to this has never wavered, despite the hard work and time it has taken to provide a quality programme of events in Preston.

Read more: Many pubs in Preston close as tier-three restrictions kick in for Lancashire

“The Ferret is a dedicated grass roots music venue, something which is incredibly important in less fashionable cities like Preston and comes with a big responsibility; because if you can’t make it work then that resource disappears, leaving such a big hole in the Preston music scene.

“There is a crisis in the arts, hospitality and entertainment business, and many places may not survive. The Arts Council have recognised this and secured funding so that arts and culture venues survive and, more than that, thrive once we come out of the other side of this.

Free Parking on stage at The Ferret Pic: Free Parking/Facebook
Free Parking on stage at The Ferret Pic: Free Parking/Facebook

“Remember even before this pandemic, music venues were closing by the dozen and the network of venues were under severe threat of a death by a thousand cuts. Without venues to play at, one of Britain’s major successes withers.”

The securing of the funds means both venues can secure their future as performance spaces and allow them to come back better than ever to support artists, staff and subsidise shows.

Read more: Longridge micro pub to close temporarily due to ‘restrictions uncertainity’

They continued: “We will continue to run both performance spaces on a not-for-profit basis and will aim to continuously improve what we do.

“Once performance is permitted again, even in a distanced fashion, we intend to roll out a programme at the earliest opportunity.

The Ferret
The Ferret

“We also plan to provide some opportunities and support for local organisations and individuals, in whatever art forms, who would like to use our programme and our spaces.

“We know at times, as we go into winter and increasing lockdowns its easy to feel things are bleak and wonder what will be left at the end of it all.

“We can now guarantee that at the end of all of this there will still be shows to go to and enjoy in Preston and we intend to use this award to make the city in some small way, a better place to live in.”

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Anyone with a proposal for use of the performance space can contact robyn@newcontinental.net

Read more: Latest news and updates from Blog Preston

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