Museums are among the cultural organisations that have benefited from funding from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), it was announced this week.
This is the first time that the authority has made specific funding available to the arts, culture and heritage sector. The awards were made in recognition of the difficulties the sector has faced through the pandemic, and the role that cultural industries can play in recovery and renewal, both economic and social, according to SYMCA.
The £1m in funding comes from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which is designed to help businesses to recover from the pandemic. It is aimed organisations that are not covered by other grant schemes, or where additional funding is needed.
South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis said: “I am delighted to see the funds I fought so hard to carve out for the sector be used to stimulate such a broad range of activity across South Yorkshire, and benefit those who have fell through the gaps of government support. We have some fantastic work going on across our region, and it is vital that it continues, that it grows, and that everyone is able to take part and access it, as we emerge from the pandemic.”
A report carried out last year by the University of Sheffield in 2021 found that arts, culture and heritage in South Yorkshire has been badly affected by the pandemic, with an estimated sector output loss of 22%, which is 5% more than the UK average. This is believed to be because South Yorkshire has a high number of jobs in this sector compared many with other regions.
Barnsley has split its ARG funding into individual creative grants; a series of public art installations and events at Barnsley Museums; an artist in residence at the Digital Media Centre; and a new festival of local musicians and bands under the Barnsley Live brand.
Funding in Rotherham includes support for two local artists to take up residency at Clifton Park Museum’s Test Space to work alongside the community.
Doncaster and Sheffield are the other areas to benefit.
Meanwhile Bradford Council has approved a 10-year strategy for the West Yorkshire city’s museums and galleries service. The strategy will retain the service’s community-focused approach while also aiming to deliver a high-quality exhibition programme. The organisation will apply to Arts Council England for funding to support its aims. Bradford Council said the museums and galleries service is an important part of its City of Culture 2025 bid.