Huge boost for Eden thanks to Arts Council England grant
The Eden Project has hailed a £249,500 grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through Arts Council England as a huge boost for the organisation and its visitors as it aims to bounce back from a five-month closure.
It was announced today (Friday April 2) that Eden is one of more than 300 organisations receiving a grant, channelled through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, aimed at having a positive impact on the sector now and into the future.
This award will enable Eden to bring a core creative team back from furlough to work with freelance practitioners, adapting and re-opening galleries and creating Covid-compliant spaces for performance.
The Eden Project is set to reopen to visitors on May 17. The grant will enable Eden to develop and deliver a lively arts and culture programme for the half-term holidays which start later that month. The grant will also enable refurbishment of artworks and galleries to ensure that they are Covid-compliant.
Dr Jo Elworthy, Eden’s Director of Interpretation, said today: “Like so many other cultural organisations, we’ve had the toughest of tough years so we’re absolutely delighted to hear from Arts Council England that our application has been successful.
“This is great news for the team, the creative sector and our community - a huge boost. It means that we’ll be able to provide further employment and start to fire up our arts and culture programme as we reopen.
“We are excited at the prospect of adapting and reopening our gallery spaces, enabling people to pause and enjoy the installations in as safe a way as possible. The award allows us to reach and grow audiences both at the physical destination and virtually. With more and more culture being curated online, this is a great time to support and enjoy all the new and creative ways art and culture is available to us.
Dr Elworthy added: “Eden’s mission is to connect people with each other and the living world, exploring how together we can work towards a better future. Today, more than ever we need to establish emotional connections, re-igniting conversations at a time when sharing Eden’s narratives has never been more relevant and vital: an inclusive approach inspiring resilience, hope and agency.”
Phil Gibby, South West Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We’re glad to have reached this milestone in the distribution of the Culture Recovery Fund today, and are pleased to be supporting over three hundred cultural organisations in villages, towns, and cities across the south west; from major regional theatres including Theatre Royal Plymouth and Bristol Old Vic, independent music venues such as Exeter Cavern and the Cheese and Grain in Frome, art galleries and museums including Newlyn Arts Gallery in Cornwall and Solent Sky in Southampton, and not to mention the countless organisations that gives the region its unique identity - from the Eden Project to Glastonbury Festival.
“This funding will help these organisations and hundreds more transition back to a viable and sustainable model and we look forward to seeing some of the fantastic cultural experiences they have to offer this summer, and many more to come.”
As well as being a renowned music venue, to date Eden has commissioned and exhibited such world-revered and diverse artists as El Anatsui, Wolfgang Buttress, Hayden Dunham, Ryan Gander, Jenny Kendler, Julian Opie, Peter Randall-Page, Tim Shaw and Studio Swine.
Among its best-known art works are Infinity Blue by Studio Swine, a giant ceramic sculpture paying homage to one of world’s smallest organisms, cyanobacteria, and Seed, a seed-shaped granite sculpture created by Peter Randall-Page.
Both of these works are in the Core education centre, home to the Invisible Worlds exhibition.