Eastbourne’s Devonshire Quarter is set to receive £1.8 million in the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to aid the venue in its reopening and recovery.

The theatre, conference and sporting venue is one of more than 2,700 recipients announced today, to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion fund.

The funding will be used across a range of reopening projects from supporting the return of major productions to Eastbourne Theatres, to new initiatives such as ticket scanning, digital marketing and broadcasting technology used for live streaming and the hosting of hybrid conference events.

Theatre patrons will benefit from the creation of a new ambassador membership scheme to support customer loyalty, while the funding will also help to deliver customer research, technical staff training and additional Covid-proofing measures across the ‘See it Safely’ accredited venues, to provide a safe and reassuring visitor experience.

The funding will also see the development of new events at the venue, including the trial of outdoor music events on the plaza, to engage with new audiences during the venue’s relaunch.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, which was announced by the Culture Secretary today.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said “We are delighted to have received this incredible support from the Culture Recovery Fund.  Our theatre and conference venues have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, however this £1.8 million funding shows huge confidence in what we can deliver during this difficult transition period, as we return our theatres and conference facilities once again to centre stage.

We are committed to reopening our cultural venues in the safest and most effective way, and this funding will go a long way to supporting our recovery and reset plans, enabling us to bring new productions to Eastbourne and engage with new audiences for a stronger future.”     

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, 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.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute. 

For more information on reopening plans visit www.EastbourneTheatres.co.uk and www.ConferenceEastbourne.com.