The National Ice Centre and Motorpoint Arena Nottingham are among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. As the venue prepares to gradually re-open, Nieve O’Donnell explores what this means for the arts sector after a turbulent year.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government’s Culture Recovery Fund has awarded over £300 million to organisations and venues across the country including Motorpoint Arena Nottingham. After receiving £1 Million from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, the East Midlands’ biggest entertainment venue can gradually re-open over the next few months after more than a year of enforced closure.
Ahead of the Motorpoint opening up to live music again, the National Ice Centre’s reactivation starts at the weekend with the Elite Ice Hockey Series. A professional four-team tournament played over five weeks will take place behind closed doors but streamed live. As the country proceeds with the easing of lockdown, ice sports activities are planned to resume. Initially, events will take place for under-18’s in April and then for everyone else from May.
“We look forward to once again being a major cultural attraction for the East Midlands.”
For the Motorpoint Arena, its reactivation may not begin until a scheduled run of socially-distanced arena shows in July and August. The Culture Recovery Fund will be crucial to keeping the Motorpoint running at low capacity before full-capacity music, comedy and entertainment shows are anticipated to return in the autumn.
Martin Ingham, Chief Executive of the National Ice Centre and Motorpoint Arena Nottingham has said that “as the venue returns gradually to full capacity we look forward to once again being a major cultural attraction for the East Midlands and helping the region to recover economically through job creation and £40m of economic impact per annum.”
For Nottingham’s local and wider music scene, this bit of news is an exciting one, preserving live music at the arena for posterity. The Motorpoint is crucial for Nottingham’s live music scene. Bringing the likes of The 1975 and Slipknot – among others – to Nottingham is important for Nottingham’s local music scene to thrive and gain traction. This is especially so considering the circumstances of Covid-19. The funding should see more artists enthuse the stage of the Motorpoint and more people to the East Midlands to see their favourite artists.
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.
“This funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal.”
The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said that their “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.”
The second round of awards made 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.
Martin Ingham also noted, sharing a sentiment that those who have missed routine live music will resonate with, that “we have truly missed the one million visitors who would have come through our doors in the past year to partake in their passions for live music, entertainment and sport. The CRF grant funding allows us to re-open our venue steadily and safely over the coming months and hopefully later this year we will once again be swept along with happy, cheering and singing crowds, immersed in the unique atmosphere of shared live entertainment.”
This piece of funding will allow larger artists to continue to return to Nottingham in the latter part of 2021. Some of the artists currently set to take the stage are Fatboy Slim, Dua Lipa, McFly, Bill Bailey, and Rick Astley, among others. The funding has been awarded through Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
Featured image courtesy of The National Ice Centre. Images granted to Impact by their owners. In-article images courtesy of Motorpoint Arena Nottingham via Facebook. Image use license found here. No changes made to these images.