Skippko Arts Team (‘Skippko’) receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

Skippko has been awarded £50,000 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 we have a sustainable future.

Skippko is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support with £76 million of investment announced on Saturday 17th. This follows £257 million awarded earlier in the week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Skippko is a small arts organisation based in Holbeck, South Leeds and was formed in October 1988 by two female artists. We are at heart a visual arts organisation that provides activities across the Leeds City Region frequently working with disadvantaged people often living with isolation and loneliness. We tell the stories of people’s lives, people who are often overlooked, marginalised or simply forgotten. We currently feature the work of 18 artists and have kept staff working throughout the pandemic. We drew funds from Reserves to commission our artists at a time when the majority of their work dried up and also self-funded work with community groups across the City helping to keep people connected during Lockdown. A series of exhibitions of a variety of work will be rolled out during Spring 2021.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.

“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:

“Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries.

“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis.  We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”

Director Arthur Stafford, said:

Simply put, the funding from Arts Council England under this programme restores and stabilises Skippko as we prepare for 2021/22 by making the best of the opportunities generated since April. Our programme also includes:

  • completing our Heritage Lottery Funded project making changes due to the limits of bringing people together: final event/exhibition will take place and completion of a project publication.
  • re-configuring our Arts Council funded project ‘In the Waiting Room’ making the best use of the skills of our artists, and giving the best possible experience to the participants we already had signed up and ready to take part just before lockdown happened
  • commissioning our 18 artists to create a piece of work related to experiences of lockdown: our decision to invest £9,000 from reserves was based on our belief that longer-term viability is a function of making work and investing in our artists and participants.

So it is our intent to remain open, to continue with the programme outlined above on the understanding that, at heart, Skippko is a viable and stable arts organisation that converts between 75% and 80% of funding applications (2018 & 2019), is an element of the arts@leeds funded portfolio (£4,560 pa) and generally secures 97% of its income though its own efforts.”


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 several bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and unprecedented support package of £1.57 billion for the culture and heritage sector. Find out more at

Feature image: Mary, Camera-arderie photography group