Bradford’s popular Kala Sangam arts centre has been given £61,500 in the second round of the Government’s culture recovery fund (CRF).

The venue has been closed for more than a year due to COVID 19 restrictions and fears had been growing for its future. This grant could be crucial to safeguarding its future.

Venues around the country are at risk of closing permanently as a result of lockdown. The culture recovery fund is the government’s scheme to support the sector through the crisis. This funding will support a further round of Kala Sangam’s Back to the Studio programme, which has helped freelancer performers restart their creative process after a year away from the studio. So far it has provided living expenses for 26 people and provide a week of no pressure studio time.

‘We are all breathing a huge sigh of relieve today,” said Alex Croft, Creative Director of Kala Sangam. “This Culture Recovery Funding will not only cover our core costs, but will allow us to continue to offering vital support to the freelance sector – many of whom lost all their income over 12 months ago. We can now confidently start to plan for reopening to the public again safely, programming performances, providing meeting room space and supporting The Rooftop Café to start serving delicious food and drink again.’

Lockdown has been devastating for the Arts centre which, he says, has lost almost all of its commercial income.

“We can’t wait to be able to welcome audiences and visitors back to Kala Sangam to see and experience great art and culture,” he added.

During the first round of the £1.57bn Culture Recovery fund, Kala Sangram received received £123,000. This latest round will help it plan a gradual reopening over the coming months starting with the rooftop café scheduled to reopen in May.