'We're in perilous situation' - Hippodrome anger at Covid cash snub

hippodrome circus

The Hippodrome has not received any funding from the government's culture recovery fund. - Credit: James Bass

The director of Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome said it was in a "perilous" situation after being snubbed in a multi-million Covid recovery fund handout.

The famous circus venue missed out on a share of the £4.75m awarded to other arts venues across Norfolk and Waveney.

Jack Jay, producer and director of shows at the Hippodrome, said he was still determined to make a success of the future.

A spokesperson for the Arts Council said that the fund was oversubscribed and there were other ways for the Hippodrome to secure funding.

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Jack Jay, producer and director at the Hippodrome has been left bitterly disappointed over the news. - Credit: www.streetviewmarketing.co.uk

But it has been a blow to Mr Jay and the staff.

"We have worked so hard to put massive shows on at a huge cost so myself and the staff have been left feeling confused considering we were awarded money the first time around," Mr Jay said.

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The Hippodrome have not received funding from the culture recovery fund. - Credit: David Street

He continued: "It is a blow and we are bitterly disappointed being put in a perilous situation like this.

"My fear is that the Covid situation could change again just like that, with restrictions being extended for example, it would just add to the pressure.

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"But we are an optimistic bunch and are determined to look toward the future.


The Hippodrome rely on their audiences and online ticket sales. - Credit: www.streetviewmarketing.co.uk

"Right now, we have a series of online Easter events that we would encourage people to buy tickets for.

"We are always so well supported by our audiences and online ticket sales and now we need our audiences more than ever."

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Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the grants have 'helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced but the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome has missed out. - Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images

A spokesperson for the Arts Council said: “The culture recovery fund is part of an unprecedented government investment in the sector which now stands at almost £2billion, but the scale of the crisis means that it will still not be able to support everyone.

"We worked with DCMS to ensure that the budget available went as far as possible – and were able to offer grants to every applicant that met all of the programme’s core criteria.

"However, the fund was oversubscribed and the criteria set by government were, rightly, tight; as a result not everyone who applied was awarded funding."

They added: “We understand that organisations that were unsuccessful will be disappointed and we have published resources both for organisations and individuals, which include alternative sources of support and wellbeing resources."