ILKLEY Literature Festival (ILF) has received a grant of £27,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund, which will help the organisation recover, develop and transition out of the pandemic.

Due to the pandemic, ILF were unable to produce their traditional two-week October festival.

Despite this loss, they continued to deliver an extensive programme of work, including two free-to-access digital weekends of author talks; Be All Write – ‘at home’ reading and writing activities; a digital Fringe Festival; Settee Seminars – a podcast series of short talks by leading experts; Chain Reactions – a community-based project engaging local artists; regular online workshops for Young Writers; Story Explorer learning resource packs and more.

The Cultural Recovery Grant will enable ILF to invest in further development of its digital offer, relaunch its schools programme and remain sustainable while building back towards being able to present live events once again.

Erica Morris, ILF Director, said: “The past 12 months has been difficult for ILF. It was not possible for us to stage the festival last October meaning we had no path to generating the ticket sales which normally account for 60 per cent of our annual income.

"Although uncertainties remain, this grant puts us in a position to weather the slow march towards the end of the crisis. We are extremely grateful to Arts Council England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for their support.”

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, including ILF, in the latest round of support from the Cultural Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

"Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.

"We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.