English National Opera (ENO) has announced that it is to receive a loan of £8.5million from the Culture Recovery Fund, a grants programme which is part of the UK Government’s £1.57 billion package to protect the country’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.

The fund provides financial support for cultural organisations that were financially stable prior to coronavirus, but have been put at risk due to the ongoing health crisis. The grants are funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and are administered by Arts Council England (ACE).

ENO said in a statement: “We want to thank everyone at both ACE and DCMS for their continued support during this time.

“We also want to thank everyone for their ongoing support and encourage those who are able to do so to continue to support their favourite cultural institutions whatever they might be and however they can. The arts employ thousands, help us make sense of ourselves and our world, and define us as a society.”

The loan will allow England’s national opera company to plan for the future, focusing on staging opera both in London and across the country. It will also be used to help maintain the company’s home, the London Coliseum, as well as provide jobs for both permanent staff and freelancers.

The award means that the company can continue to bring opera to as many people as possible, via continued free tickets for under 18s, providing support to Covid-19 patients though ENO Breathe, or developing new ways to engage audiences from large-scale drive-in opera with ENO Drive and Live to concerts of both rarely performed and much-loved works.

Stuart Murphy, CEO of English National Opera, commented: “Everyone at ENO is enormously grateful to Oliver Dowden, Emma Squire and everyone at DCMS, and Adam Jeanes and the team at Arts Council England for their support during this pandemic. This news allows us to continue ENO’s long history of innovation and to plan for the future. We can’t wait to use this financial support to continue creating brilliant opera available to everyone.”

Harry Brunjes, ENO chair, added: “CEO Stuart Murphy and COO Karen Watson and indeed all at ENO have tackled the challenges of 2020 with their usual vigour and enthusiasm. Everyone at the organisation is delighted that the receipt of this support from DCMS and ACE allows us to plan positively for the future, providing secure jobs for our full time staff and freelancers who form a vital part of the wider arts ecology.”



The grant from the Culture Recovery Fund means that the English National Opera can continue to maintain the company’s home, the London Coliseum (via Wikimedia Commons).