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Omnibus Theatre has been awarded £172,549 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

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

Since closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March Omnibus Theatre has launched an online programme which has been watched over 12,000 times and several initiatives to continue to support their local community including Routes, a free theatre programme that includes breakfast and lunch for 5-11 year olds, Story Circle, a free online participation project for Age UK participants who have been affected by the isolation caused by social distancing, and Lunch Box, a project that delivers free lunches to school children who were not receiving their free school meals due to their schools being closed.

Omnibus Theatre announced a reduced artistic programme of socially distanced live performances from October to December 2020 that includes 3-time Off West End Award nominated We Were Having A Perfectly Nice Time, powerhouse queer improv supergroup Hell Yeah!, EFG London Jazz Festival featuring BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Misha Mullov-Abbado, and Elf Lyons’ Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated Swan.

This crucial funding allows Omnibus Theatre to plan for their future which will include an expanded artistic programme in 2021, crucial participation projects for their local community and creating opportunities for artists, theatre makers and freelancers in the sector who have been acutely affected by the crisis.

More information on this can be found on their website

Artistic Director Marie McCarthy said:

“We are grateful and hugely relieved that our application to the Culture Recovery Fund was successful.

This vital funding provides us with hope for a future where we can keep our doors open for our valued team, artists, audiences and supporters, all of whom make Omnibus – Omnibus. On behalf of us all, we want to thank ACE and DCMS for recognising our work and enabling us to continue to run our learning and participation programme, support artists and scale up to reopening fully.

We are mindful of vital parts of our industry, fantastic friends, freelancers and colleagues across the sector, who are have been affected by this crisis. To them we say call us, email us or pop in for a tea. Our building is here for you.

We hope to share our next steps with you soon. To everyone who has supported us this far… Thank you.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota said:

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

About Omnibus Theatre:

Omnibus Theatre is a multi-award-winning independent theatre in Clapham, South London. Finalist Fringe Theatre of the Year 2019 at The Stage Awards, Offie winner 2020 & 2018 and recipient of the Peter Brook/Royal Court Theatre Support Award 2016.

The heart of our ambitious programme, inspired by our building’s literary heritage, lies in both classics re-imagined, modern revivals and new-writing. We aim to give voice to the underrepresented and challenge perceptions. We believe in affordable tickets and theatre for all. Omnibus Theatre is led by Artistic Director Marie McCarthy. Patrons include Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Gambon, Lord Michael Cashman Matthew Warchus, Sir Richard Eyre and Maggi Hambling. We are a registered charity and receive no core funding.

About Arts Council England:

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of several bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and unprecedented support package of £1.57 billion for the culture and heritage sector. Find out more at


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