April 1, 2021

Barnsley Youth Choir to receive £56,000 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

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Barnsley Youth Choir among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

This award will provide a vital lifeline to the choir as they return to full operational activities and realise our major ambitions for 2021.

Barnsley Youth Choir has received a grant of £56,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation to facilitate the planning and preparation for a large-scale event in July 2021 - Barnsley International Youth Choir Festival. The Festival will provide an opportunity to re-focus the energies of members, volunteers, Musical Directors & re-ignite the support of the community - thereby moving forward to a sustainable future. The festival represents a vital step change to returning to viability, both in terms of delivering world-class opportunities for both our own members and choirs from across the UK & Internationally. More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including Barnsley Youth Choir in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today. The Festival will provide world-class training opportunities from an elite line-up of internationally renowned conductors, alongside mass choral events featuring choirs from across the UK and as far afield as Ireland, Norway and South Africa. 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."

Mat Wright MBE - Artistic Director, Barnsley Youth Choir, said:

"We are so grateful for the support that DCMS has offered Barnsley Youth Choir at this incredibly challenging time. This financial support provides a vital lifeline to the choir and allows us to fully support the 450 children and young people involved, by continuing to provide exceptional and life changing experiences. This funding allows Barnsley Youth Choir to return to full operational activities and will allow us to remain inclusive and equitable, providing wonderful opportunities to children irrespective of their backgrounds."

Dan Jarvis MBE - Mayor of the Sheffield City Region and MP for Barnsley Central, said:

“I’m delighted to hear that Barnsley Youth Choir has been successful in their application for funding from the Culture Recovery Fund. I am enormously proud to be a patron of the Choir. They do incredible work promoting access to music for our young people and are an indispensable part of our cultural scene here in South Yorkshire. Barnsley Youth Choir has represented our town on the national and international stage and never fails to inspire me every time I hear their spellbinding performances.”

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.”

Dr Michael Barrett - University of Pretoria, South Africa and conductor of Tuks Camerata, said:

"I can simply think of no better recipient of the Government's Culture Recovery Fund than the wonderful Barnsley Youth Choir Organisation. BYC offers hundreds of young singers quality music education, with its highly acclaimed, and award winning, Senior Choir the attention of the International Choral Community. This funding will greatly assist in allowing the organisation to continue providing world class education to children throughout the community, and simultaneously bring joy to audience members both near and far. I, like so many others, have personally been affected by the "magic" that is BYC and I believe that my own organisation has greatly benefitted from the lessons and experiences through my involvement with this unique and truly astounding team. This organisation embodies the true meaning of community, and if there were more BYC's in the world, we would be in a much better place".

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.