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Key Theatre, museum could reopen after 'vital' government funding

The Key Theatre, Peterborough Museum and Flag Fen could finally be reopened after Peterborough City Council receive ‘massive funding boost’ of nearly £500,000
Peterborough Museum, Key Theatre and Flag Fen could be reopend as council receive 'vital' funding (Photo: John Baker)

The Arts Council and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport yesterday (October 16) announced funding awarded through round two of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund: Grants – including £3,036,642 for 11 organisations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

A further 588 cultural and creative organisations are to receive a share of £76 million as part of a vital financial boost from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. Yesterday’s recipients are those that applied for grants of under £1 million in the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund. This funding will help organisations create work and performances, and plan for reopening. 

In the East of England this investment will help save 51 theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues facing the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure they have a sustainable future and continue to bring joy to local communities and international audiences. 

Peterborough City Council received a sum of £493,068 which will help revive and reopen the Key Theatre, Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, and Flag Fen. 

Reacting to the news, Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet member for culture and recreation at Peterborough City Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear that our bid for Arts Council recovery grant funding has been successful. 

“The grant will be a massive boost as we work to reopen some of our most popular arts and heritage facilities, including the Key Theatre, Peterborough Museum and Flag Fen and follows the successful transfer of our arts and leisure services to new providers. 

“This successful funding bid also demonstrates the commitment of Peterborough City Council, City Culture Peterborough and Peterborough Limited to delivering first class arts, leisure and heritage services. We firmly believe these services are key to the city’s long-term future and helping Peterborough recover following Covid-19.” 

In addition The East of England Showground also received a £300,000 cash boost, while Fengate-based Pearce Sound & Lighting Ltd, which provides technical services to live theatrical and music events, received £450,000.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations. 

“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.” 

The funding follows £257 million awarded to 1385 organisations on Monday. Further announcements on the funding administered by Arts Council England will follow soon; applicants for grants of over £1 million, and those that applied to the Repayable Finance programme, will be notified of their outcomes shortly.

The full county list can be seen below. 




Britten Sinfonia



Cambridge Arts Theatre Trust Ltd



Cambridge Educational Services Ltd.






East of England Showground Limited



Ian Paul Dobson (St Ives Corn Exchange)






Pearce Sound & Lighting Ltd



Pelle Pub Co LLP



Peterborough City Council



The Cromwell Museum