Grimm & Co are overjoyed to announce that they have been awarded a £500k Capital Kickstart grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, enabling the organisation to push forward with their transformation project despite the financial challenge caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
Grimm & Co is one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million today. The Capital Kickstart grants programme helps organisations cover costs added to capital projects such as building works, refurbishments, and large-scale equipment purchases by pandemic-related delays or fundraising shortfalls.
Following the purchase of their building on Ship Hill in the centre of Rotherham, Grimm & Co were looking to proceed with the renovation and refurbishment work when lockdown hit in March. The closure of the story centre and magical shop on Doncaster Gate, the diversion of promised funds and the enforced cancellation of fundraising events, meant that plans for the building were put on hold and all efforts concentrated on taking their creative delivery to children and young people online and directly into communities.
This capital kickstart funding, provided through the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund will help Grimm & Co to make changes to design and build plans that will assure public confidence regarding COVID-19. It will also plug the funding gap brought about by the impact of the pandemic.
This fund, together with earlier funds secured, kickstarts phase 1 of the capital project. Grimm & Co is awaiting further funding news that would secure phase 2 which would see the whole of the construction works secured.
However, this funding secures Grimm & Co’s capacity to commence works on a transformed story destination, initiating works to create a new and improved Grimm & Co, a magical emporium of stories for the centre of Rotherham, serving Yorkshire, Humber and beyond.
The initial phases of the build include repairs to the roof, the installation of lift access to each floor, so that the building is fully accessible to all, and a new floor to expand the creative delivery space. The unique gift shop from Grimm & Co’s previous home will be recreated within this new story destination for families, including an independent bookshop and café with magical and mortal menu options.
Should the further funding be secured, all works can take place simultaneously, including the external works and the upper floor construction, creating 3 exciting large, new writers’ pads (classrooms) giving Grimm & Co the opportunity to reach more schools and children once face-to-face activities are able to return.
In the meantime, Grimm & Co will be taking their interactive, immersive workshops out to schools and to children and young people across Yorkshire, as well as providing creativity packs supporting vulnerable groups in Rotherham.
Sarah Dunwell, Chair of the board of Trustees said, “We are thrilled to be granted this funding, enabling us to go ahead with our transformational project for the people of Rotherham. This has been a difficult year, especially for vulnerable children and families, and we have demonstrated the need for our services. We are so pleased to be able to develop this in our larger, more accessible space in the future. This is part of the next chapter of our story, and we are awaiting the result of the Future High Streets Fund bid to find out if we can deliver the whole project as planned.”
Deborah Bullivant, Founding CEO of Grimm & Co states “The pandemic has impacted on Grimm & Co’s work in so many ways, having a disastrous effect on our fundraising to develop our new home into the enchanting story emporium and family destination our charity plans to create. However, this recent, exciting news that our application to the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund was successful means that we can restart our building programme, supporting plans to make our building safe, dry and of course, extraordinarily magical!”
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “This government promised it would be here for culture and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word.
“The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications.
“Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture – so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England said “Today’s announcement is another vital step in securing the future of England’s cultural sector. Supporting capital projects will help to ensure that we maintain an innovative, sustainable cultural infrastructure that supports world class creative work, while the loans announced today will enable some of our largest and most prestigious cultural organisations to weather the effects of Covid-19 and reopen when it is safe to do so. The Arts Council is grateful to the Government for their support through the Culture Recovery Fund, and we are proud to support all the organisations receiving funding today.”
Grimm & Co are continuing their creative delivery online via their website, digitally, and in the community with their immersive theatre spaces and pop up magical apothecary. The online shop also remains open for quirky, unusual and personalised gifts.
Images: Grimm & Co