Chequer Mead’s general manager delighted at £73,525 grant for East Grinstead theatre

Chequer Mead Theatre’s general manager has welcomed a grant of £73,525 as ‘great news’ for the East Grinstead venue.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 11:01 am

“We’re delighted to receive the funds,” said Will Perkins, 32.

“It’s going to play a big part in supporting us financially over the forthcoming months until we’re able to operate again at full capacity.”

The theatre was awarded the money as part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, which helps arts and entertainment groups recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chequer Mead in East Grinstead. Picture by Derek Martin

More than £300 million in grants has been awarded through Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

Chequer Mead has only been partially open during the pandemic, said Will, who lives in East Grinstead

“We’re very lucky that we have the The Apron Bar and Coffee House,” he said, adding that this has remained mostly open and has held some live music events.

“Without that we would have been as good as closed for the majority,” Will said.

“But still with that, 80 percent if not more of our business has been closed,” he added, saying that many of his peers have had to close completely for long periods of time.

“That’s had a severe impact on businesses, which is why these grants are so crucial and why the support is so needed and appreciated.”

Will said the theatre plans to open in September and that staff are already preparing for this winter’s big pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Annephen Ltd in Hassocks, a company run by comedian Stephen Grant, has been awarded £28,193. Click here to find out more.

Read the full story about the grants here.