The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) – the UK’s leading organisation for youth choral music– has been awarded £170k 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.

NYCGB is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today 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.

The Culture Recovery Fund grant was welcome news to the organisation whose financial position had been significantly impacted by Covid-19 due to the cancellation of its core programmes in spring and summer 2020. Working creatively to innovate and adapt, NYCGB took its courses online in 2020, delivering inspirational and exciting musical experiences to its members despite the pandemic.

As the UK now looks set to face a longer period of uncertainty, the Culture Recovery Fund grant will help to sustain NYCGB into the next financial year, supporting its core costs and cashflow over the coming sixth months between October 2020 and March 2021 while the organisation plans, ‘Covid-proofs’ and restarts its programmes.

NYCGB exists to inspire and empower young people throughout the UK with the life-changing experience of singing together. It comprises five choirs of over 800 young people aged 9-25, runs two unique training programmes for emerging professional artists - the NYCGB Fellowship Programme and NYCGB Young Composers Scheme and leads a national programme of singing workshops for students of all abilities in schools and community settings. NYCGB also works in partnership with teachers and music education networks to create more regional opportunities for young people to discover and explore their vocal talent. All of this vital work will be enabled to continue thanks to The Culture Recovery Fund grant.

Chris Higgins, Chair of NYCGB’s Board of Trustees said:

We’re extremely grateful to receive this funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. It means we’ll be able to adapt to the unpredictable and ongoing challenges presented by Covid-19 and continue to deliver activities in 2021 which inspire and support young singers and emerging professional artists, as well as supporting jobs within our organisation and providing vital paid work to freelance staff. Covid-19 continues to impact on NYCGB’s income from grants and activities and the Culture Recovery Fund grant will help make up for this shortfall and ensure NYCGB is in a good position to continue to operate through the next 12 months.