Babylon ARTS receives ‘lifeline’ £60,000 grant from government’s culture recovery fund

Babylon ARTS in Ely has been awarded £60,000 to “help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure a sustainable future”.

The charity gallery is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving support from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund grants programme, which is being carried out by Arts Council England.

Claire Somerville, chief executive of Babylon ARTS (operated by ADEC – Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire), said: “For over 25 years the organisation has overcome many challenges, including the total loss of local authority funding in 2014, but has risen to the challenges each time.

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“Prior to Covid-19, Babylon ARTS had seen growth in audience numbers at its independent cinema; a new large-scale creative skills development programme with schools across East Cambs and Fenland; a varied exhibition programme at the Babylon Gallery with over 20,000 visitors a year and strong partnership developments to increase arts opportunities in the area.

“The temporary closure of the Babylon Gallery and Ely Cinema, coupled with the uncertainty of future income in-light of Covid-19, threatened the charity’s future.

“The culture recovery fund places Babylon ARTS firmly back on an even footing, ready to continue developing creativity and connecting people with arts and culture.”