£35,000 lottery grant 'a lifeline' says Babylon ARTS
- Credit: BABYLON ARTS
Ely-based Babylon ARTS have shared how a grant of £34,950 provided a "lifeline" to help them survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lockdown meant no income but thanks to the National Lottery funding boost from Arts Council England, the Ely gallery was able to get back on track.
Claire Somerville, chief executive said: “National Lottery funding was a lifeline for us – that emergency grant afforded us the breathing space to reorganise all of our work.
“We had to do that completely from the ground up again – and continue building the connections that we had with the local community.
“With hindsight, it gave us a massive opportunity – it meant that I could pay the team and we could pay the rent, so that grant had a significant impact.
“The emergency funding we’ve received has meant we’re doing better than surviving.
"We’re trying new things, we’ve built new partnerships and I’m hoping to carry on building on those.
"This has afforded us an opportunity to think again and try new things – and I’m trying to take the positives.”
- 1 ‘It’s sadly coming to a natural end’ - restaurant to close its doors by August
- 2 New bid for housing thwarted by Great Crested Newts
- 3 21st century agreement on future of 17th century pub
- 4 Back garden log cabin needs permission says council
- 5 ‘It’s been very rewarding’ - Letizia amazed by support for La Strega
- 6 Axing BBC TV news from Cambridge 'a backward step' says MP
- 7 Daughter pays tribute to model engineer who 'tried his hand at anything'
- 8 Change of plan for A142 Mepal bridge works as July closures announced
- 9 Village barn struck by arsonists in 4am blaze
- 10 Explained: What the cost of living support package means for you
As well as running an independent cinema, Babylon ARTS' Postcard Project saw 120 postcards sent across the region for a real-life and online exhibition.
Claire is optimistic for the year ahead: “The funding has helped us innovate and lay the foundations for a brighter future.
“We’re looking to build on some of our new ways of working – outdoor work that we’ve started doing and are looking to grow.
“Without the funding, we wouldn’t exist and therefore we wouldn’t be able to do those things.”
Lockdown meant the project’s income ground to a halt but thanks to a National Lottery grant of £34,950 from Arts Council England, Claire and her team were able to get back on track.
Claire says Babylon Arts’ innovative Postcard Project meant it functioned as a key creative outlet in Ely and the funding was central to their efforts.
The project captured the imagination of dozens of local people, with 120 postcards being sent in across the region to facilitate both a real life, and online, exhibition.
She said that with hindsight, the grant gave them a massive opportunity.
“It meant that I could pay the team and we could pay the rent, so that grant had a significant impact," she said.
“The emergency funding we’ve received has meant we’re doing better than surviving. We’re trying new things; we’ve built new partnerships and I’m hoping to carry on building on those.”
“This has afforded us an opportunity to think again and try new things – and I’m trying to take the positives.”
Babylon Arts is one of thousands of projects nationwide to have benefited from the £30 million raised by National Lottery players every week.