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Rocks by Rail near Cottesmore and Pinder's Circus in Rutland receive grants from Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Two organisations in Rutland are set to receive a £27,000 boost from the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced today (April 2) that 2,700 organisations have been offered nearly £400 million in grants and loans to help the culture sector reopen and recover, on top of the £1 billion that was already allocated in the first round.

Rocks by Rail near Cottesmore is among the attractions to benefit, receiving a £9,057 grant.

A group of volunteers adjusting the level of the track in the platform at Rocks by Rail. Photo taken spring 2019
A group of volunteers adjusting the level of the track in the platform at Rocks by Rail. Photo taken spring 2019

The volunteer-led museum is set in an ironstone quarry, covering 19 acres with railway tracks and nature trails offering community involvement with schools and the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme. The railway museum tells the story of the ironstone quarrying industry by preservation, conservation, display and operation of artefacts and machinery from the industry.

The funding will support them in reopening by allowing them to purchase and modify equipment to make the museum and café covid-safe, such as credit card facilities, new signage, hand sanitiser, floor paint and barriers, and to retrain staff ready for reopening.

Ian Smeeton of Rocks by Rail said: "We are pleased to be receiving it.

Steam locomotive and war memorial
Steam locomotive and war memorial

"I believe it's the third lowest amount to be awarded to any organisation but in these times anything is very useful.

"It's a bit of help to become covid compliant for when we reopen on July 4."

Rutland-based Pinder’s Circus, a touring non-animal circus, which includes jugglers, laser shows, trapeze, clowning and acrobatics, has been allocated £18,860.

Rocks by Rail
Rocks by Rail

In 2020, they ran circus ‘open days’ to engage people with circus skills and performance. This funding will allow them to design a scaled-down version of shows ready to tour when restrictions allow.

Peter Knott, area director, Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund has supported two organisations in Rutland – from museums celebrating local industrial history to touring circus productions.

“The Government’s package is hugely welcome, providing much of the sector with resources to reopen safely.

"Building upon investment made in the first round of Cultural Recovery Funding, we’re pleased to see that many more well-loved community projects, theatres, galleries, museums, clubs, music venues, festivals, key cultural suppliers along with other creative spaces and projects have benefited, and their communities will feel a boost as a result.

"Now that we’re hopefully on the road to recovery, there is much to look forward to as organisations get ready to reopen their doors, welcoming back audiences and making plans for the future.”

The funding brings the Government's total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural organisations and sites.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and parliamentary private secretary to DCMS, said: “The support given to culture by the Government is unprecedented, and to see over £109,000 being awarded to cultural institutions in Rutland and Melton.

"This takes the total in grants and loans to our community to almost £1 million – an extraordinary investment."

She added: “As parliamentary private secretary to the Culture Department, I have been pushing for money to come to our corner of the East Midlands.

“Culture is good for the soul. I can’t wait to be able to visit these organisations in the near future.”

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