Lifeline grant for The Mill

Exterior of The Mill Arts Centre with a banner reading 'We are #HereForCulture'The Mill Arts Centre receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

The Mill Arts Centre has been awarded £118,560 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary announced on 17th October 2020.

The Mill is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced on 17th October 2020. This follows £257 million awarded earlier in the week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Since 2016 The Mill has been operated by The Mill Arts Centre Trust, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

As the only dedicated arts and performance venue in the Cherwell District, The Mill is a central focus of cultural life. In 2019, over 18,000 people engaged with one or more activities including performances and events, classes, exhibitions and workshops. In addition, nearly 4000 people engaged with off-site programmes taking place across both Banbury and Bicester.

Following lockdown, The Mill has been able to partially reopen since September and is offering a strictly limited range of classes, workshops, film and performance that can be safely delivered within the current government guidelines.


Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.

“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”


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

“Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries.

“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis.  We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”


Executive Director & Joint CEO, The Mill Arts Centre Trust, Andrew Lister, said:

“This funding is a hugely welcome vote of confidence in The Mill and will support us through the uncertainties of the next 6 months, putting us in the best position to be able to adapt and bounce back once the outbreak is behind us.”

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