Malvern Theatres has been awarded £971,251 as part of the government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future.

The venue is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving this urgently needed support, as part of the first round of grants being administered by Arts Council England.

Malvern Theatres has been fundraising since it closed its doors in March owing to the Covid crisis. The grant will allow the theatre to plan more confidently for the year ahead, including planning new productions suitable for socially distanced times.

The theatre’s phased reopening has already proved successful with audiences, who this week can enjoy Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, as well as films in the cinema.

Nic Lloyd, Malvern Theatres chief executive, said: “We are beyond delighted to have received this money from the Arts Council, which will help secure Malvern Theatres’ future. The sum reflects our esteemed place in the country’s theatre scene; an eminent status that we work hard to maintain, and I’m incredibly happy that the town will have this investment when it needs it most.

“This grant by no means protects the theatre indefinitely, but it does allow us to look ahead and plan more confidently for a future, whatever that may look like post-Covid. Our recovery, as for all charities and most businesses, will be slow, but there is hope. We are so grateful to everyone who has supported our campaign so far, and we hope we can continue to count on our audiences to help us reach the other side of this catastrophe.

“If we can take anything positive from this pandemic, it has been the heart-warming displays of community spirit and fortitude that we’ve all seen and experienced. The people of Malvern have shown their true colours from day one, and I’m incredibly proud of everything my team has achieved in the worst circumstances, and the support our community has shown to us and to each other.”

Further rounds of funding in the cultural & heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

To book tickets at Malvern Theatres or to donate to its Covid appeal, visit malvern-theatres.co.uk