Mercury Amongst Prestigious National Arts Organisations in Funding Win

Ten actors in colourful costumes, posed in an arrowhead formation, each raising a fist in the air.

The Mercury has been successful in its bid for funding as part of Garfield Weston’s £30 million ‘Weston Culture Fund’.

The one-off fund has been set up by the Weston family in response to the impact of Covid-19 and will support venues, independent arts organisations and touring companies as they work hard to engage audiences and re-open to the public. As a successful recipient, the Mercury sits alongside prestigious organisations including the National Theatre, Northern Ballet and the RSC, as well as other regional venues and smaller organisations, including our neighbours, Colchester Art Centre.

The Garfield Weston Foundation’s Director Philippa Charles said: “Our cultural sector is at the heart of our local communities providing not only entertainment but education and inspiration for many.

“Our trustees were impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit shown across the arts in response to Covid-19. We all want and need our cultural sector to thrive and, if anything, our time away from the Arts has shown just how important they are to us – bringing much needed pleasure and enrichment to our lives.”

We will use the grant to support our reimagined summer 2021 season. Mercury’s Creative Director Ryan McBryde said: “With the refurbishment of the theatre so nearly finished, what we really want is to welcome everyone in through the doors to see the new spaces and have wonderful shared experiences. Whilst we have some great plans for the building, we know that indoor venues are likely to remain restricted for the majority of 2021.

“Because of this, we are looking at a reimagined summer season and how we can bring exciting theatre and engagement work to the Colchester community while keeping everyone safe and well. This grant from the Weston Culture Fund will allow us to be creative and engaging in new and exciting ways and we cannot wait to be part of bringing people back to and enjoying Colchester town centre.”

We will open our doors as soon as it is safe to do so, with the safety of audiences continuing to be our absolute priority. Plans are well underway to share site specific outdoor shows, reworked classics and youth and community engagement in a controlled, and safe, environment for the people of Essex and beyond to enjoy this year.

We can’t wait to tell you more!

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