Funding News: Backstage Trust, David and Sandra Burbidge, The Eveson Charitable Trust and The Radcliffe Trust


On 28th October 2021, The Coventry City of Culture Trust is delighted to announce that it has received a further £175,000 in grant funding from a range of funders to support events and programme throughout its tenure as UK City of Culture 2021.

Backstage Trust awarded £100,000 before releasing a further £25,000 to match a generous donation from David and Sandra Burbidge.

This funding enabled the delivery of Faith, a major participatory event that took place across the city over the weekend of 10th September. Directed by Erica Whyman, Acting Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Faith invited thousands of audience members, both in-person and virtually, to immerse themselves in the diverse faiths of Coventry, a proud interfaith city, through music, theatre, art installations, rituals, discussion and dialogue.

A grant of £15,000 from The Eveson Charitable Trust will support Uncover/Discover, a ground-breaking arts and education programme based around Coventry’s waterways for 1,000 schoolchildren with learning disabilities, delivered in partnership with Open Theatre Company. As well as supporting and showcasing participants’ creativity, the project will help develop a long-term cultural offer, embedding creative opportunities in local schools and supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

The Trust also announces that The Radcliffe Trust’s has awarded an additional grant of £10,000 to support the resilience and sustainability of Coventry’s music sector, particularly through the establishment of a new sector-led, city-wide Coventry Music Steering Group. It will also contribute to commissioning Coventry-based musicians and composers, providing opportunities for artists to sustain their practice, and providing a platform to reach national audiences.

As we approach the halfway point in Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture, the Coventry City of Culture Trust continues to work alongside its partners to shape plans and secure further resources for the legacy of Coventry 2021.

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, says:

“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Backstage Trust, David and Sandra Burbidge, The Eveson Charitable Trust and The Radcliffe Trust for their valuable support. This funding has enabled us to continue to co-create exceptional events with local artists and communities, to empower those who may face additional barriers to the arts and to support Coventry’s vital music sector as look towards securing the positive impacts of the festival beyond 2022.”

Helen Cave, Executive Administrator of Backstage Trust, says: “Backstage Trust supports projects which harness the power of the performing arts to bring communities together, encourage creativity, reduce isolation and reach out to those at the greatest disadvantage. At the heart of Faith was the ambition to collaborate, explore values and ideas and celebrate with the Coventry community and in the wake of the pandemic this was never more needed.”

David and Sandra Burbidge say: “We are delighted to have supported Faith. Coventry has the richness of many diverse communities who contribute to the success and wellbeing of our city. Faith was a wonderful way of bringing people closer together through shared understanding.”

Claire Bowry, Chief Executive of The Eveson Charitable Trust says: “The Eveson Charitable Trust is delighted to contribute towards this project to increase creative opportunities for both children and artists with learning difficulties. The focus on the city’s waterways will give fascinating heritage and environmental perspectives to the artistic workshops. It’s particularly special that the project takes place during Coventry’s year as City of Culture and we hope that the project’s aim of long-term partnerships between SEND schools, art organisations & artists becomes a reality.”


A Trustee from The Radcliffe Trust says: “The Radcliffe Trust is proud to support Coventry UK City of Culture to provide a great platform for the best of Coventry-based musicians and composers.”