News Story

The Three Choirs Festival has been awarded funding 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.

The festival 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.

The Three Choirs Festival is the world's oldest classical music festival of its kind, and celebrated its 300-year anniversary in 2015. For eight days each summer over a thousand performers bring musicmaking to the alternating host cities of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester on a scale rarely seen in the region, and the organisation has a growing programme of community participation activity taking place beyond the festival. Bringing together voluntary and professional musicians of all ages in front of an international audience of thousands, the festival is a vibrant part of the UK's rich choral and classical music traditions.

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.'

Alexis Paterson, Three Choirs Festival Chief Executive, said:

'We are incredibly grateful to have received this funding. It's the springboard from which we can start to recover after this year of cancellations, allowing us to plan with flexibility and confidence for summer 2021. Next year, we hope to present a festival in Worcester that preserves the unique character of Three Choirs while operating safely for audiences and remaining sustainable so that future generations can enjoy this brilliant part of the UK's rich cultural tapestry.'

Photo: #hereforculture