A youth club in Battersea, which has served the community for over 100 years, won a £50,000 grant from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help weather the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Devas Club, founded in 1884, is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country which received urgent support from the funding package created by Arts Council England.

Devas runs drama, music, dance, arts and sports programmes, from its Stormont Road premises. Pre-lockdown membership stood at 1,000 youngsters aged from 8-19.

In recent years, some of its members have gone on to win awards, perform locally, and gain national recognition in talent shows.

Recently, the dance studio was refurbished and the club’s music and recording facilities modernised.

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The chair of the Devas Trustees, Andrew Griffith, said: “This is a major boost for us. It helps us protect the range of our arts activities – dance, music, creative art, and above all drama. We are very pleased to be able secure this outreach work for young people – many from disadvantaged backgrounds – across our catchment area.”

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture, which invests public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the arts sector.

The chair of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:“ This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Find out more at www.devas.org and www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19