A Cornish museum and one of the most influential theatres in the region have been given a share of £33 million in a bid to keep them "afloat until the end of September."

The Arts Council announced yesterday that it would be supporting 196 of its National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), via a short-term emergency fund.

This was "specifically designed to help those organisations that needed financial support to stay afloat until the end of September, because of the impact of Covid-19."

Among them is the Bernard Leach Trust, which manages Leach Pottery in St Ives.

It has received £114,431 to help it continue sharing the work of Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, who founded the studio pottery in 1920.

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It is now considered to be one of the most influential studio potteries in the world.

The Leach Pottery was reopened to the public as a museum, shop and studio in 2008 as a registered charity and opens it doors to the public for workshop sessions.

Theatre Royal in Plymouth has also been awarded £806,000.

Only last month the theatre, which has been responsible for giving access to West End level theatre productions to generations in the south west, revealed that it was being forced to "take the painful step" of starting redundancy consultations.

On Monday evening the theatre was lit up in red light, to highlight the plight of the arts industry.

Of the £33 million total, £2,593,506 has been offered to 19 organisations in the south west, which for the purposes of this funding goes up as far as Hampshire.

It is the third round of funding as part of the Arts Council’s overall £160 million Emergency Response Package, through which it has already awarded £69 million to nearly 10,000 individuals and independent organisations.

The Emergency Response Package, which was launched in March, was made available thanks to National Lottery players and Government.

To further support the independent sector, the Arts Council recently announced the reopening of National Lottery Project Grants this July, with a budget of £59.8 million.

The Arts Council said a number of organisations were not offered funding through this programme, but this was "not because they are not facing significant long-term financial challenges, but because they were not able to demonstrate they needed urgent funding before the end of September."

External financial consultants were brought in to scrutinise applications for larger amounts of funding, and decisions on any funding request for over £1 million were proposed to and signed off by the National Council.

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Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, our main priority has been to ensure that as much of our country’s cultural ecology as possible survives the summer – from individual artists and freelancers, to museums, libraries and arts organisations, both large and small, located in every corner of the country.

"This investment, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, provides critical relief to valued cultural organisations that faced immediate financial disaster before September.

"We know that massive challenges remain in the autumn, and we'll use the rest of our available funds, alongside the Government funding just announced, to support our sector in the coming months.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, went on to say: “Culture, creativity and the arts are a fundamental part of our country’s identity – they bring joy, fulfilment and shared experience and help boost people’s health and wellbeing.

"Our National Portfolio Organisations play a crucial role in providing opportunities for people across England to enjoy culture, and this funding will ensure that they are able to continue their work through the summer."