Sheffield's Utopia Theatre gets almost £22k from culture recovery fund

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Sheffield's Utopia Theatre group is celebrating after being awarded £21,994 from the culture recovery fund to help secure its future.

Utopia was one of 925 groups to get awards and the money will be used to protect its sustainability and ensure it is financially secure during the 2022 tour of Here’s What She Said to Me by Oladipo Agboluaje.

Mojisola Elufowoju, chief executive officer and artistic director, said: “Once again, Utopia Theatre is profoundly grateful for the support we have received through the cultural recovery fund.

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Mojisola Elufowoju, founder of Utopia Theatre in SheffieldMojisola Elufowoju, founder of Utopia Theatre in Sheffield
Mojisola Elufowoju, founder of Utopia Theatre in Sheffield

"I’d like to thank the chancellor and treasury, the culture secretary, Arts Council England and the countless others who have played a role in securing this vital lifeline for our industry.”

Mojisola, who won The Star’s Women of Sheffield award for entertainment this year, added: “The culture recovery fund is securing the future of Utopia Theatre, helping us ensure we can return enthusiastically to our work in 2022. This support means that we can bring African Theatre back to theatres across the UK with confidence and ambition.”

Utopia Theatre is based in the city centre Sheffield Theatres complex and prides itself on being a leading voice in African Theatre, particularly in the digital space.

In 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 restrictions, Utopia quickly moved its work online. The grant received from the culture recovery fund grant will ensure the financial security needed to ensure the organisation can deliver its wide range of planned activities and productions in 2022.

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Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from.

“Through unprecedented government financial support, the culture recovery fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.”

Darren Henley, chief executive, Arts Council England, said: “This continued investment from the Government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets.”