Folk festival boosted by £97K grant from Culture Recovery Fund 

The Sidmouth Steppers. Ref shs 0486-23-11SH. Picture: Simon Horn

The Sidmouth Steppers dancing along the promenade during Sidmouth Folk Festival - Credit: Simon Horn

The Sidmouth Folk Festival is looking forward to a sustainable future after being awarded £97,250 in the second round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. 

The grant – one of 2,700 distributed through Arts Council England – will help cover organisers’ running costs through to June, allowing them to look ahead to a full and improved post-Covid festival in 2022. 

Plans for a modified festival this summer, shaped around present and projected Covid restrictions, will be announced later this month. 

John Braithwaite, Director, Sidmouth FolkWeek

John Braithwaite, Director, Sidmouth FolkWeek - Credit: Contributed

Festival director John Braithwaite said: “We are absolutely overjoyed to receive the grant from CRF, which, critically, contributes to a stable base for the future. While a whole raft of uncertainties still surround running festivals this summer, which may not be clarified for three months, this grant gives us confidence to plan for the first week of August. 
“Together with other, much appreciated, support, this grant means that we can look forward to a more secure future for the festival for many years ahead. 
“Thanks to all our supporters who have brought us this far. We look forward to seeing you in town this year for a celebration of this very special and unique event.” 

Proudly championing traditional music, song and dance since 1955, The Sidmouth Folk Festival has received significant support from its loyal audience base, local businesses, town and district councils and its associate charity. A successful Crowdfunding campaign and online festival in 2020 helped to secure its immediate future following substantial losses caused by the cancellation of last year’s live festival. 

The funding awarded 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. 

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 reopen theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter