The Continental and The Ferret have received a grant of £87,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.Advertisement
The grant – which follows the nearly £400,000 awarded in October – will be used to ensure the popular venues can put on live performances in future.
A spokesperson for the independent family-run business behind the venues said: “We are hugely grateful for this much-needed injection of money to help see both The Continetal and The Ferret through the next few months, up to the end of June.
“Following a full year where we have been silent, these funds have been allocated and ring-fenced to ensure we are in a position to deliver live performance in Preston into the future.
“Since the unfortunate loss of 53 Degrees and the Guild Hall there are now very few dedicated music and performance venues in our city.
“Events are not money spinners; many independent venues struggle at the best of times but we know they are important to the community and we are passionate about them.
“Without this help it is unlikely both our venues could have survived this awful year.”
During the past year, the Culture Recovery Fund has helped keep staff at The Conti and The Ferret busy providing services to grassroots artists including free rehearsal space, live streaming shows, filming music videos, and supporting students in the arts.
Over £800 million has already been awarded to almost 3,800 cultural organisations dealing with the challenges of Covid-19. This second round of awards will help organisations plan for reopening and recovery.
Read more: Prestfest set to go ahead in 2021 bigger and better than ever
The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the British Film Institute.
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic.
“These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls and museums, and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.
“We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”
Read more: Pictures of Lancashire Photography Festival’s opening weekend in Preston
Looking ahead, the venues have a busy few months planned as Covid-19 restrictions begin to relax.
The spokesperson added: “Once we are allowed to fully re-open, our event programmes will be running at full speed.
“The calendar is almost full for the year with some shows sold out already, such as Wolfgang Flür (ex-Kraftwerk) and Goldie Lookin Chain.
“We’re also looking forward to continuing our support for grassroots music, performance, community arts groups, local students and all sorts of charities.
“Most of all, we cannot wait to welcome people back into our venues to enjoy live music and performance for years to come!”
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines
Have you missed being able to attend live performances this past year? Let us know in the comments.