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SoCo Music Project has received a grant of £61,760 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including SoCo Music Project in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

SoCo supports wellbeing and progression through music, working in Early Years settings, in Special Education, supporting young people at risk of offending and providing positive activities for vulnerable adults. The grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund will provide support for SoCo to continue to develop and deliver activities and programmes that make a difference in people’s lives across Southampton and Hampshire.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Matt Salvage, CEO of SoCo Music Project said:

 “For the last 12 years SoCo has been committed to supporting people across the Southampton and Hampshire to take part in fun and impactful music making activities. The pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives and as we start to find a level of normality we want to ensure that our activities and events can continue to help with people’s wellbeing and aspirations.

 The Culture Recovery Fund has come at a time when music and the arts will be needed more than ever. We’re extremely grateful to receive this funding and we’re looking forward to providing vibrant and engaging activities.”

 Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:

“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. 

 We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

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