PW Productions, producer of the long-running The Woman in Black and An Inspector Calls has been awarded £245,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.
PWP is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England.
In mid-March 2020 PWP was employing 180 theatre practitioners in seven productions – including The Woman in Black, An Inspector Calls, The Last Ship and Dirty Dancing – across the UK, Europe and the USA. The company had plans to open further productions, all of them with significant commercial potential. By the end of March all seven production had closed, and all future shows had been shelved.
The funding from CRF will enable PWP to weather its complete loss of income until at least March 2021, when it is anticipated that a gradual return to normal business will start to become apparent.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.
These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”
Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, added: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”
Peter Wilson, Chief Executive and Chair of PWP, commented: “These are worrying times for all the performing arts. So we at PWP are grateful that the needs of the commercial producing companies have been recognised alongside those of the subsidised sector. Our hibernating productions of The Woman in Black and An Inspector Calls, alongside our future productions with partners throughout the UK, have been protected by this very welcome act of sensible generosity. “