Brent arts organisations awarded over £1m in Covid recovery funding

Laxmi Kanbi, lead artist for Mahogany Carnival Design

Laxmi Kanbi, lead artist for Mahogany Carnival Design - Credit: Clary Salandy

Theatre and comedy organisations were among the Brent recipients of shares of more than £1 million in the latest round of grants from the Culture Recovery Fund.

A total of £1,051,180 in government funding was awarded to six organisations in the borough.

Kiln Theatre in Kilburn receives £182,000 and executive director Daisy Heath said: “This support from the Culture Recovery Fund is vital in enabling us to reopen our doors in May with the world premiere of Amy Trigg’s Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me

“We have missed being part of everyday life on the Kilburn High Road, and our summer plans also include the reopening of our cafe and cinema alongside our productions and creative engagement work.”

Kiln Theatre

Kiln Theatre - Credit: Philip Vile

Bound and Gagged Comedy is one of the UK’s longest-standing comedy touring companies and was awarded £350,000, enabling it to produce socially distanced shows between April and June.

Managing director Nigel Klarfeld said the business was “thrilled” to have been accepted for a grant. 

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“Bound and Gagged Comedy has been in business for 29 years and this funding now guarantees the long-term sustainability of the company, employment for staff, contractors and gives us the opportunity to continue to deliver our diverse programme for all socio-economic communities,” he said.

Mahogany Carnival Design, based in Harlesden, is a group of artists who make large scale sculptures and carnival costumes for international and UK events alongside a skills development programme. 

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It receives £66,000 and artistic director Clary Salandy said: “This funding will bridge the gap in our resources created during the pandemic and enable us to rebuild our community business and protect jobs.

“We will be able to continue to work with our freelance artists and create opportunities for young emerging artists in the borough.”

Other Brent organisations to be awarded grants were Big Kiss Comedy Club (£85,000), Live Music Producers (£58,250), and Kilburn Bars Ltd (£309,930).

The grants were administered through Arts Council England and are part of a £400m package of support for more than 2,700 organisations across the UK that was announced last week. 

Tonya Nelson, Arts Council England's London area director, said that the funding is “vital” for the success of the capital’s “vibrant and diverse creative industries”.

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