THE operator of some of Bournemouth's top venues has received almost £2.5million in financial support from the government.

BH Live, which runs the BIC and Pavilion in the town centre, is among 35 of England's major arts and cultural organisations to receive the grant from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The business will receive £2,499,531 to help protect its operation during the turbulent time for the industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

As reported in August, BH Live confirmed plans to make around 200 people redundant.

The organisation's chief executive said the Culture Recovery Fund support would ensure it can "retain some of our talented team".

Chris Symons, BH Live chief Executive, said: “We are incredibly grateful for this financial lifeline.

"This much-needed award will secure the future of cultural events for the communities we serve.

"We will be able to retain some of our talented team and bring forward essential investment in service and event technology which is now needed more than ever.

"It will enable us to meet ongoing costs while our venues are in hibernation and assist us in getting our venues ready and Covid-secure - providing essential reassurance for our customers and colleagues.”

Alongside the facilities it operates in Bournemouth, BH Live, which is the third largest leisure and event operator nationally outside of central London, also oversees Portsmouth Pyramids and Croydon's Fairfield Halls venues.

Two other organisations in the south west received financial support with Theatre Royal Plymouth and The Mayflower Theatre Trust in Southampton receiving around £1.9million and £3million, respectively.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As part of our unprecedented £1.57 billion rescue fund, today we're saving British cultural icons with large grants of up to £3 million – from Shakespeare's Globe to the Sheffield Crucible.

"These places and organisations are irreplaceable parts of our heritage and what make us the cultural superpower we are. This vital funding will secure their future and protect jobs right away.”

Phil Gibby, south west area director for Arts Council England, said: “The Culture Recovery Fund has already helped hundreds of organisations in villages, towns and cities across the south west.

"I am so pleased that we’ve been able to support such a diverse range of organisations – from grassroots music venues to celebrated circuses.

"This latest funding, which are the largest grants Arts Council have administered to date, will support some of the south west’s most beloved performance spaces – from Plymouth to Bournemouth and Southampton.

"This funding has provided a lifeline that will allow these organisations to stay afloat over the next few months and bounce back after the crisis, so they can continue to play an integral role in their communities.”

  • The Daily Echo contacted BH Live to confirm the situation relating to the redundancies that were reported in August.