The creative director of a Lichfield arts venue says a grant to help deal with the impact of the coronavirus crisis will allow the organisation to be adapted to cope with the new normal.

The Hub at St Mary’s

The Hub at St Mary’s received £64,126 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The venue’s creative director, Anthony Evans, said the funding was a lifeline for the organisation.

“There certainly isn’t a lot to celebrate at the moment, but we are grateful that the Arts Council and Government felt the diversity and talent we cultivated in our first year, combined with our sustainable social enterprise and business model, made us a good applicant for the Culture Recovery Fund.  

“This funding will help us to reshape that business model and to work out how the venue can work post-March.

“In addition to the safety of audiences, quality of experience has been high on our agenda and restrictions up to now have meant we have decided not to go ahead with our programme for these reasons as well as safety.

“These funds will help us evolve and innovate so we can look forward to 2021.”

Anthony Evans, The Hub at St Mary’s

The Hub at St Mary’s was joined by the National Memorial Arboretum and the Lichfield Garrick in receiving the funding boost locally.

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.”

Oliver Dowden MP

Mr Evans said despite the need to rethink the future in order to adapt to life post-coronavirus, he was confident The Hub at St Mary’s could stay true to its values.

“We are committed to keeping the Lichfield community at the centre of the venue’s creative programme and we will be working closely with local producers and promoters to help their innovative ideas into fruition at The Hub over the next year.

“We also remain committed to programming diverse voices who have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic and of course providing as much work and visibility for national touring artists that have also been hit hard by COVID-19.

“For now and should restrictions remain the same, our social enterprise coffee shop and gallery is open and those wishing to support the local arts economy should pay us a visit to see this month’s wonderful exhibition from the Disabled Photographers Society.” 

Anthony Evans, The Hub at St Mary’s


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.