‘Essential lifeline’ given to company with funding boost

Stage scenery carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Scenic Projects

Stage scenery carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Scenic Projects - Credit: Archant

A company has vowed that “the shows will go on” after receiving lifeline funding amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.

Works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Projects

Works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Projects - Credit: Archant

Scenic Projects Ltd of Lowestoft, which designs and builds stage scenery to more than 600 theatre companies across the UK including 50 professional pantomimes, has received £250,000 through the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

Works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Scenic Projects

Works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Scenic Projects - Credit: Archant

The Lowestoft firm was one of 21 organisations in Waveney, Norfolk and Suffolk to have received a culture recovery grant from The Arts Council and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Projects

Works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Projects - Credit: Archant

Scenic Projects was one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country that received funding this week through the Government’s £1.57 billion CRF.

Works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Projects

Works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Projects - Credit: Archant

It allows them to help face the challenges of the pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.

Stage scenery works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Proje

Stage scenery works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Projects - Credit: Archant

The company, based at Nelson Wharf Business Park in Lowestoft is the UK’s leading supplier of quality stage scenery.


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But at the start of the pandemic in March, the companies work came to an immediate standstill.

At that time all of the staff were immediately furloughed, and contractors stood down.

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Sadly, the company had to make 14 loyal and dedicated members of staff redundant when there was no clear sign of the core business recommencing.

A small team of staff have been kept on and they are now working on two design and build projects for Marella Cruise lines and QDOS Pantomimes Pantoland at the London Palladium.

These two projects however only represent 20 per cent of the annual turnover of the business.

Nicholas Garrod, managing director of Scenic Projects, said: “The government’s Culture Recovery Fund has thrown an essential lifeline to our business to see it over the next six months and to help us recover when for when theatres fully reopen.

“It has been a very difficult time for the business and loss of some of our key staff has been devastating.

“We are not anticipating the full recovery to start until the Autumn next year as we head towards the Pantomime Season 2021.

“We would like to thank the Government, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Arts Council for their confidence in the ongoing viability of our company and in particular our MP, Peter Aldous, who has been a tremendous support to the business over the past few months.”

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