Over the course of October, Arts Council England has distributed £409 in COVID-19 relief to U.K. arts organizations as part of their £500 million Culture Recovery Fund. On Saturday they announced a third round of aid totaling £75 million of the sum. The individual grants ranged from £1-3 million, and among them was one for £1,514,262 awarded to London nightclub Fabric.
Of the 35 Round 3 recipients, Fabric Life Ltd was the only institution with a heavy focus on electronic music. Four other venues were awarded grants: Sage Gateshead parent company North Music Trust (£1.8 million), BH Live (£2.4 million), Performances Birmingham Ltd (£2.5 million), and ACC Liverpool Group (£2.9 million). The remaining recipients included museums, dance companies and theatre organizations, among others.
“We’re absolutely delighted to announce that we’ve been successful in our application for the Culture Recovery Fund,” reads a statement shared by Fabric. “We’re incredibly relieved to receive this support after what has been a very tense waiting period for everyone at fabric, and would like to express our gratitude to the Arts Council England team and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for the faith they’ve shown in us.”
“Like so many other cultural institutions around the world, the last eight months have been some of the most challenging in our lifespan,” the statement went on. “With our doors closed and no source of income to sustain ourselves, simply paying rent and maintaining a 1,500 person venue in Central London has placed enormous pressure and financial strain on us as a business.”
The sum awarded to Fabric was largely met with approval by U.K. electronic music stakeholders after a controversial first two rounds of aid. Grants given to Resident Advisor and Boiler Room (for £750,000 and £791,652, respectively) elicited outcry after it came to light that venues like Printworks, The Drumshed, Egg London, Studio 338, Oval Space , Exhibition London and The Pickle Factory were denied.
Arts Council England has also expanded upon the aid they offer to artists themselves. Their Developing your Creative Practice fund now includes DJs in its definition of “creative practitioner,” and applicants can receive grants of £2,000-10,000.
The full list of Round 3 Culture Recovery Fund recipients is available in Arts Council England’s data report.