ARTS organisations in Maldon could be set for a “significant” funding boost from Essex County Council...with a popular museum in the district recognised for its contribution to Essex's diverse arts scene.

The authority said the Arts and Cultural Recovery Fund, set to be launched this month, will support and enable Essex’s diverse and vibrant cultural sector to recover from and develop out of the Covid pandemic.

The fund will provide financial support in the form of a grant which will be awarded to arts organisations "to support programmes of artistic and cultural work".

Councillor Graham Butland, cabinet member for devolution, the arts, heritage and culture, a new post created in May this year, said he could not reveal the exact amount being proposed by the council but said “it is a significant amount.”

He said: “This is not just handing out money. The point we recognise in the county council is the huge input that arts can make to the wellbeing of communities generally.”

Mr Butland said the diverse nature of the arts scene in Essex can be seen with larger organisations such as Firstsite – a Colchester-based contemporary arts organisation named as the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021, The Mercury Theatre, also in Colchester.

He also recognised smaller organisations such as the new museum in Harwich, and the Museum of Power in Maldon.

He stressed the money was to provide more than support to those who have been badly hit.

He added “I do recognise the huge contribution arts and culture can make and when we are making allocation of funds what I will be interested in is what is that going to do for your local community.

“To be honest, many of them are well on the way to developing that already.

“We are there to support and we can be a very powerful link with the Arts Council.”

He said: “The arts is something the county council left the stage a few years ago and we want to back in there.”