Cheltenham Playhouse, one of Cheltenham’s oldest and most beloved venues, has been denied a piece of the Government’s most recent funding scheme to save our country’s cultural heritage.

This has driven local arts enthusiasts to create a ‘Go Fund Me’ page, in an attempt to try and subsidise the playhouse for missing out on the grant. Cheltenham photographer, James Fear, who started up the page said: “We are raising this money to help Cheltenham Playhouse. They asked for £50,000 from the arts council and got rejected – we are going to double it.”

Unmasked are keeping a close watch on the campaign through our website. Click here, to see how the campaign is getting on.

The Arts Council are funding theatres, museums, comedy clubs and other types of ‘cultural organisations’ throughout England. There is a total of £500 million to be awarded by the Government in a bid to repair the damages caused by the UK’s lockdown. The first round of funding saw £257 million split between the country with the biggest portion (over £80 million) going to the capital. Gloucestershire received just over £4 million.

Despite Cheltenham Playhouse requesting the minimum funding amount of £50,000, they were unsuccessful. Other Cheltenham venues such as the Cheltenham Trust (£852,161) the Everyman Theatre (£832,000) and Cheltenham Festivals (£783,939) were recipients of the grant.

Cheltenham Playhouse is one of the oldest surviving Spa buildings in the town. It’s housed many activities and organisations throughout its lifetime including medicinal spas, gyms, sports clubs, steam mills, bakery’s, and even a swimming pool.

Tokyo Tattoo studio is hosting a fundraising event for the playhouse today offering 10 different tattoo designs, and donating all their proceeds to the Playhouse. Harry Harvey from the studio said: “it’s really important to do our bit and support the arts, support local, like minded businesses. Especially given its rich history.”

Other local business are stepping up to help Cheltenham Playhouse keep its doors open, including Indian restaurant and takeaway Maya cuisine who are donating 10% of all their orders.

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