Blackfriars Theatre has been awarded funding from the Culture Recovery Fund

Monday 19th October

Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre are thankful to have been awarded £98,000 in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund announced by Arts Council England on Monday 12th October 2020.

We are one of 1385 arts organisations that are benefitting from a share of £257 million as part of a vital financial boost from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The money is intended to help theatres, and other cultural organisations to sustain themselves. It is vital for keeping staff and freelancers employed over the coming months as they re-organise, reboot and plan to reopen after facing almost total shutdown since the pandemic hit in March this year. 

At Blackfriars it will allow us to cover the general overheads and maintenance of our beautiful little theatre for the next 6 months. Unfortunately, it has come too late for our theatre technician who we had to make redundant earlier in the year when all productions ceased overnight, and the first lockdown took hold. 

However, as part of our application to the Arts Council England we had also requested support to enable us to make Blackfriars auditorium Covid-19 safe for when we are eventually able to re-open the doors by installing a full air filtration system, but this element of our application was not successful. 

If you are a follower of Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre you will be aware that over the past 5 years we have been investing heavily in gradually restoring the facilities in the building. This has included the main auditorium seating, a wheelchair stair lift, a new commercial kitchen and most recently a passenger lift to our stage, first floor rooms and bar. All of these projects were able to go ahead with financial support through numerous grants, legacies, fundraising and our own Theatre Refurbishment Levy. 

The next project on the schedule and announced late in 2019 was Air Conditioning for the Auditorium.  Since the lockdown in March all main sources of income for Blackfriars have ceased. No shows are taking place, so no tickets are being sold. Thousands of pounds worth of refunds and vouchers have needed to be issued for tickets that can no longer be used due to show cancellations or date changes. Alot of our spare capital has been diverted to ensure we have been able to keep the building running over the past 8 months.

This Cultural Recovery Grant will now enable us to stop worrying about how we are going to cover the general running costs and focus on how we are going to raise the £80,000 needed to get a full Air Conditioning and Air Filtration system fitted in our Auditorium before we reopen in 2021.  As we breathe a sigh of relief here, we also start on a new path which we will need all of you out there to help us with.


In the coming weeks we need to you help us to start raising money to purchase this new system. There are many ways you can get involved – some of you might want to start a personal fundraiser on Facebook on behalf of Blackfriars Theatre. We have a fundraising account with them so the money donated is sent directly to us from Facebook, this should be live anyday.  Alternatively, you might want to set up a regular donation yourself – this can be as little as £5 per month directly to the theatre. You can do this by standing order or our new Text to Donate scheme. Every little counts. You could become a Blackfriars Theatre Member for just £15 for the year. Current benefits include a free cup of coffee when you visit us, and no Box Office booking fees if you book tickets directly with us (once we get up and running again!). 

You could join our ‘Sponsor a Seat’ scheme and have a plaque on the seat of your choice within our auditorium (subject to availability) suggested donation amount for this is £250.  Finally you could just follow us, share information about us, encourage your friends to follow us and eventually, when we are able to reopen safely, buy tickets, come and see our shows or get involved as a volunteer. Once this is all over we are going to need all of you to help us bring Boston’s performing arts back together and ‘KEEP THEATRE LIVE’ in Boston.

Whatever way you are able get involved you can rest assured that we value your time, effort, and thoughts throughout this pandemic and into the future.

We would also like to thank every single one of you that has been involved, or supported Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre already and continue to do so. We hope that you all stay safe and well over the coming months.

We look forward to seeing you back at Blackfriars Theatre in 2021.

Blackfriars undoubtedly plays a very important role as Boston's centre for entertainment and the arts. It is home to two very successful local amateur dramatic and operatic groups, as well as hosting a varied program of professional stage productions.