Empire Leisure (UK) Ltd has been awarded funding as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced.
The Whiteley-based company is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment was announced on Monday 12th October 2020 as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
Empire Leisure was formed in September 2009 by Dean & Debbie Treleaven and is one of the chosen creators and providers of live entertainment by some of the most high profile leisure businesses within the industry, including Carnival UK Cruises, Haven Holidays, Butlins, Warner Leisure Hotels, Parkdean Resorts, Park Holidays UK and many more. Traditionally, the company also support and provide artistes for local events and organisations as often as possible, including the annual Netley Marsh Steam Fare, Gosport’s Christmas Light Switch On, The Waterlooville Music Festival, Cowes Week, Hampshire Football Association, MacMillan Caring, Renal Charity Steering Group, Hampshire County Federation of Women’s Institutes and the Annual Phoneyfest Tribute Band Festival at the prestigious Concorde Venue in Eastleigh, which remains one of the company’s most valued clients and supporters of culture and entertainment.
The company have unearthed, created and managed a wealth of diversely talented artistes over the previous decade which has in turn provided many of these artistes with life-changing opportunities. In April 2010, during a period when Empire Leisure were the exclusive entertainment providers for the 3D Entertainment Group, Dean convinced his client’s Fareham-based Chicago Rock Café venue to stage a promotional show starring an unknown boyband, with Empire Leisure picking up the expenses in order to give the young band some exposure. The customers who enjoyed that show had no idea at the time, that they were in fact watching a boyband called “The Wanted”, who would top the UK charts just three months later with their debut No 1 single “All Time Low”.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.
“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”
Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:
“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”
Dean Treleaven of Empire Leisure said;
“We are obviously delighted to have been selected by the Arts Council England to receive funding to support our business, as the impact suffered by the leisure and hospitality industry because of coronavirus, which has been well documented, has genuinely been devastating for the artistes.
“With the postponement and cancellations of festivals and events, plus the enforced closures of holiday resorts and venues both in the UK and throughout the world, the artistes suddenly found themselves completely out of work from the moment the country went into lockdown.
“The summer season was effectively lost, although thankfully we have seen the resumption of events in recent weeks at venues and resorts that have worked incredibly hard to adapt to the present situation and ensure that they are providing a safe environment for their customers, staff and our visiting artistes.
“The funding will allow us to continue to operate and invest in these artistes and the business and work through what was looking like a very precarious and uncertain period for all of us.
“We are extremely grateful and relieved and will ensure that we work hard to make a positive contribution to the recovery of the cultural entertainment sector.”
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