Harrogate agency gets well-deserved boost from Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

A Harrogate-based socially-conscious public relations agency which has raised more than £1 million for the arts and good causes in the past decade has received a substantial cash boost from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 1:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st April 2021, 1:24 pm

Cause UK is amongst more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

This award will allow Cause UK to support arts charities and festivals, as well as help them programme their own arts events to help throw the spotlight on good causes.

Clair Challenor-Chadwick, Managing Director of Cause UK, said: “As a vibrant agency for 10 years, Cause UK had strong growth pre-Covid, thanks to our growing cultural portfolio. Obviously, that was all put on hold with Covid.”

Just prior to the first lockdown, the agency secured and hosted Ken Loach and Brian Blessed in Harrogate on behalf of the Harrogate Film Festival, as well as family events at the Royal Hall with Steve Backshall and Chris Packham.

Cause UK run the annual Dickens Festival in Malton, and took it online with a Zoom with Miriam Margolyes and Dickens’ great, great, great granddaughter, Lucinda Hawksley, which attracted a global audience.

During 2020, Cause UK delivered pro bono cultural activities, to raise awareness of the arts and support charitable campaigns.

The team engaged musicians Rufus Wainwright and Jools Holland to feature in a viral film with disabled musicians, which launched on Channel 5 News for PACES specialist school in Sheffield.

They live streamed world-class pianist, Ke Ma, at York Minster, which was broadcast on BBC Look North and featured in the Times and the Telegraph.

Other projects include putting a grand piano in an iconic beauty spot to highlight the plight of musicians and importance of nature, which went viral globally and featured in the Times, Telegraph, Guardian and BBC Look North.

Clair said: “A significant part of our work is also as a support agency to arts, public sector and charities. We’ve supported organisations as diverse as Besbrode Pianos, Ilkley Literature Festival, The Barnsley Civic, Harrogate Convention Centre, the Wesley Centre in Malton and the Himalayan Sculpture Park. We’re proud our work has had significant impact, helping clients to win awards, increase visitor and audience reach, engage sponsors, and attract investment.”

More than £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."

Cause UK has worked with homeless theatre companies, veterans’ charities and disabled children on cultural projects. Major projects include working with Sheffield songwriter Eliot Kennedy on a veterans’ charity concert with Gary Barlow, and again with Alfie Boe and a starry line-up to open the Invictus UK Trials in Sheffield, resulting in a private meet and greet with Prince Harry.

Cause UK is a full-service public relations and marketing agency which was established in 2010.

Since then, it has proven to raise profiles, attract investment, increase footfall and ultimately boost revenue for its clients, raising more than £1m for the arts and good causes.

Clair Challenor-Chadwick, said: “As a cause-driven agency, our arts work throws the spotlight on societal issues such as poverty, homelessness, racism and mental health. Agents of change, we aim to enrich lives, explore what matters, champion good, provoke thought, inspire action and put heart and intelligence into our cultural programming. We are thrilled to be supported by the Arts Council to continue our work in 2021 and beyond.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic.

"These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed.

The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

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