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Press Release: Culture Recovery Fund Success

2nd April 2021 by Morven Macbeth

Culture Recovery Fund Success

Lancashire-based digital arts company imitating the dog benefits from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The company, which stages theatre productions and projection-mapping works for outdoor events, will receive £37,500 from the second round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, and will be among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from this latest round of awards.

This award will enable imitating the dog to develop a new theatre production which is set to tour to UK and European theatres this Autumn, and to develop its website, so that it can host a range of performances and activities for people to enjoy from home.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today. Over £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.”

Julie Brown, imitating the dog’s Executive Director said:

 “This year has been hard for everyone, and our focus now, as it has been all year, is on supporting artists to make work. Throughout the last year, as UK venues have been closed and most events postponed, we have made many of our shows available online and produced several new works, including a Culture in Quarantine commission from BBC & The Space. We are delighted that thousands of people have watched our work online. Last October, we made and toured a new theatre show which played outdoors at venues, in Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Midlands.

This funding will enable us to bring in creatives and specialists to help us develop our infrastructure, including overhauling our website and making exciting new content for the site, and developing a brand new theatre show.

We look forward to being with our communities and audiences again this autumn, either at a venue on tour, or at one of the hugely popular outdoor family festivals, and to welcoming people into our new online home.”


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.

Notes to Editors

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Find out more at

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon.

imitating the dog

imitating the dog (ITD) has been creating and touring original performance work since 1998. Pete Brooks, Andrew Quick and Simon Wainwright are the Artistic Directors and their work has built a company with a unique reputation in the UK, Europe and internationally.

imitating the dog creates outstanding work that challenges and connects with audiences, tests theatrical conventions and brings high-end video design and thematic ambition to audiences.

imitating the dog’s work has toured extensively through the UK and has been seen in 17 different countries including Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil, Lebanon, Georgia, Ukraine, Germany and Chile. Their scripts and writings have been published in three languages.

imitating the dog also create projection and video-mapping work for festivals and events. Recent site-specific projects have included Light Up Lancaster Festival and the launch of Hull City of Culture.

Learning is at the heart of the company’s ethos. The company initiates, tests and shares its creative process and technological expertise with students, practitioners and community groups through its extensive learning programme.

imitating the dog is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

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