• Ripon Amateur Operatic Society has been awarded £54,339 by the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) administered by Arts Council England.
  • Ripon’s Community Theatre Company are one of 1,385 creative organisations being helped with the grant.

Ripon Amateur Operatic Society, which is run solely by volunteers, will be receiving more than £54,000 as part of the government’s lifeline grant for cultural organisations.

The Society will be celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, yet has been unable to perform any shows in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Additionally the City Centre arts space at 49 Allhallowgate, acquired by the Society several years ago, has been unable to provide a space for other organisations, artists and performers since March.

Ripon Operatic Society

Ripon Amateur Operatic Society’s performance of ‘Stepping Out the Musical’ last year (Photo: Facebook:@RiponOperatics)

Linda Aikman, Ripon Operatic Society’s Chair, said:

“This grant will allow us to make the venue completely Covid Secure so we can safely allow audiences in again in line with guidelines and legislation.

“It means that the membership, including our Youth Theatre, can confidently rehearse and perform again, can deliver some much-needed entertainment to the local community in a safe way, and not be constrained by financial aspects.

“One of the challenges we were facing was how to bring what we do to a limited audience without making a loss – the grant now means that performances can go ahead without us having to charge extortionate ticket prices to make ends meet.”

The Society are also embarking on a separate project in order to make the building more accessible and usable to more people, and fundraising for this aspect (which cannot be funded by this grant) is ongoing.

The Society thanks the community, its members, Trustees and patrons for their continued support.

The Society’s first performance will be taking place at 49 Allhallowgate at the end of November (subject to local or national restrictions) and more details will be published on their website and their Facebook as soon as possible.      

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