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The Oundle Music Trust is most certainly better known to you through one of its constituent parts: Oundle International Festival, Oundle for Organists, Oundle Cinema and Oundle Food Festival. For 35 years, Oundle Music Trust has sought to provide inspiring artistic experiences which contribute to the social, cultural, educational and economic life of both Oundle and the greater East Midlands area. This is achieved through partnerships with local, national and international associations and the generosity of sponsors and benefactors.

We launched the 2020 Festival in February but, when the fi rst lockdown was announced in March, our ticket sales ceased overnight and it was clear we would not be able to deliver any of our intended activity for at least the remainder of 2020.

We nonetheless received great support from our ticket buyers and sponsors, many of whom donated their contributions in order to keep the organisation ticking over. A further surprise donation enabled us to programme a virtual festival in July which you can still enjoy on our website.

When the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help arts organisations face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure they have a sustainable future was announced, we knew we had to apply, but also knew that the competition would be fi erce. The effort we put in to crafting our application paid off. In October, we were thrilled to learn that our application was successful and we were awarded £58,823 – the full amount we applied for.

In the arts world, this crisis has opened all our eyes to the possibilities offered by live streaming performances and we shall be using the next few months exploring ways we can develop this as part of what we offer.

The CRF award is a testament to the hard work of our small team and to our importance as a regional cultural hub. Along with the generosity of our friends, sponsors and audience members, it enables us to plan ahead with confi dence and look forward to emerging from the crisis renewed and re-invigorated with an exciting programme for 2021.

Kenneth Richardson

Artistic Director

Oundle Music Trust

OundleInternationalFestival

www.oundlefestival.org.uk 

Oundle Music Trust