The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) has been awarded £843,000 from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Since March the CBSO has lost nearly all its performance income as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been very fortunate to have received generous support from its donors and loyal ticket buyers, and has also received support from the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which ends this month. The organisation's employees have taken a significant reduction in pay.

The grant from the Culture Recovery Fund - along with support from donors to their £12.5million Sound Of The Future fundraising campaign - allows the CBSO to return to giving live concerts in a safe and Covid-compliant way. The orchestra has just announced a series of ensemble concerts at CBSO Centre, and is working towards restarting larger-scale concerts at Symphony Hall.

The funding also enables the orchestra to share more of its work on digital platforms, and to increase the reach of its community work at a time when many people may find it hard to attend concerts in person.

Commenting, Stephen Maddock, chief executive of CBSO, said: “This is great news, and a huge relief for the CBSO as we mark our centenary this year. The government’s support, and its #HereForCulture campaign, is a very welcome vote of confidence in the arts as we find creative ways to reimagine and restart our activities. At the CBSO, we can now get back - in a Covid-compliant way - to our mission of providing great music to the widest possible audience. Alongside our colleagues in the arts & cultural sector, we do still expect significant challenges as the current crisis drags on into next year, and we will still need the ongoing support of our generous supporters and all other CBSO stakeholders as we bring the organisation through these difficult times and into our second century in the strongest possible shape.”

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