Organisations in Cornwall are sharing more than a quarter of a million pounds to help them reopen this year.

It is in the latest round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, with more than £300 million awarded in the form of 2,700 grants announced yesterday.

Among them is the Hall for Cornwall in Truro, given £100,000 ahead of its reopening later this year and the unveiling of its newly rebuilt and renamed Cornwall Playhouse theatre.


The venue has been undergoing a multi-million pound transformation over the last three years and will use this grant to re-engage with audiences across Cornwall, for stage programme and technical preparations.

The work has included a new three-tiered, 1,352 capacity auditorium with better sightlines, acoustics and 300 more seats, as well as an improved café, bar and public spaces in the hope of attracting 300,000 visitors a year.

The Cornwall Playhouse auditorium under construction

The Cornwall Playhouse auditorium under construction

Julien Boast, Hall for Cornwall’s chief executive and creative director, said: "Like thousands of venues across the country we can’t wait to reopen and in our case it will be the first opportunity for people to see the amazing transformation we have undergone over the last three years."

"This money will help us reconnect with audiences across Cornwall and prepare for our exciting inaugural season later this year. We are grateful to the Cultural Recovery Find and Arts Council England for their continued and invaluable support.”

In December the Hall for Cornwall was awarded a further £2million from the Capital Kickstart programme, also part of the £1.57 billion funding for culture and heritage.


Meanwhile Fish Factory Arts in Penryn has received a grant of £35,000. The not-for-profit, independent, community art space has provided work and project spaces for artists in Cornwall since 2011, and currently includes 22 artist studios, a gallery, shop, cafe and a multi-use event space, bringing together people of all ages and walks of life.

Studio residents include painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers, printers, writers, sound and installation artists.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic the Fish Factory had a record of being independent, unfunded and self-sustaining. Post lockdown it intends to return to trading by organising projects and making spaces available, perhaps in new ways, with the funding helping the team do this.

Rose Hatcher, founder and managing director of Fish Factory Arts said: “We are bursting with ideas and energy for the coming months and are very excited we can now share this with our community and work towards safely reopening our space when possible.”

Penryns Fish Factory has been given Culture Recovery Fund money to help reopen

Penryn's Fish Factory has been given Culture Recovery Fund money to help reopen

Elsewhere in Cornwall, Bodmin & Wenford Railway received a grant of £144,800 to help its planned reopening this spring. Usually operating for over 200 days a year, these past 12 months the railway has been closed to visitors.

The loss of income has been described as a "heavy burden" for the railway to carry whilst it has continued with the usual ongoing repairs and maintenance to keep the railway in good shape for when visitors can return.

Jenna Kirkpatrick, the railway's marketing and commercial co-ordinator, said news of the grant was "a tremendous relief," adding: "Heritage railways are hugely expensive, even when trains are not running. For example, there is little change leftover from £1,000 for a single length of rail.

"This award allows us to bridge some of the funding gap that we have been struggling with. We are hugely grateful.”

The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.