CHALKE Valley History Festivals has been awarded £260,000 of government funding to ensure it has a sustainable future.

The money is from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help organisations face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cash boost ensures its Festival for Schools event can go ahead in 2021.

This year's Chalke Valley History Festival, which had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, would have seen the event celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Festival director, Jane Pleydell-Bouverie, said: “We are absolutely delighted and so grateful to have received funding thanks to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. We passionately believe that it is only by learning about the past that we can make sense of the present and prepare for the future so this grant will enable us to continue to mount the Festival for Schools alongside the main Chalke Valley History Festival programme.”

The festival is owned by a charitable trust set up to promote the understanding and inspiration of the past to the widest possible audience of all ages but especially children through the Chalke Valley History Festival for Schools which runs concurrently.

Chalke Valley History Festivals says that following the cancellation of the 2020 festival and the attendant costs already incurred, without the funding from the Arts Council Culture Recovery Fund it was planning a greatly reduced festival for 2021 which would not have included the Festival for Schools.

This funding, it says, will enable it to organise the festival, including the Festival for Schools, with social distancing measures in place from 21-27 June 2021.

Chalke Valley History Festivals is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support.

£257 million of investment has been announced as part of the 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.

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.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, the chair of Arts Council England, 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.”