Birmingham-based Early Music ensemble Ex Cathedra has been awarded £114,078 as part of the government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF), to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.

Ex Cathedra is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. A £257million investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme, which is being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural & heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

The impact of the pandemic had not only curtailed Ex Cathedra’s 50th anniversary season, it had left the organisation - founded by Jeffrey Skidmore in 1969 - in a perilous financial position, with all concerts cancelled since March and its schools and hospital projects unable to go ahead in person.

The funding represents a lifeline for the organisation, securing its immediate future and providing funds to enable a limited Christmas season of performance. The funding will see the organisation safely navigate at least the next six to nine months, restart its world-class choral concerts programme and continue to deliver its programme of education and participation projects in a revised digital format.

Commenting, Peter Trethewey, general manager of Ex Cathedra, said: “We are extremely grateful and relieved to receive this support. Ex Cathedra was facing an uncertain future. This grant removes the immediate threat and enables us to carefully resume a reduced programme of concerts over the coming weeks.


“Whilst today is a crucial day for organisations like Ex Cathedra, the arts sector is not out of the woods yet. Ultimately we need to get audience numbers safely back to pre-pandemic levels as soon as possible. We are also very mindful of the freelance musicians whose livelihoods depend on organisations and venues operating at, or near, to normal. They also need support at this time.”

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