A CASH injection has been confirmed to help ensure staff at The Met in Bury continue to meet the challenges posed by coronavirus.

The £116,000 provided by the government's Cultural Recovery Fund should provide extra security for the 13 full-time staff there.

And the boost, announced by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, will enable them to further develop their ground-breaking digital offering.

The Derby Hall venue has become a streaming mecca during lockdown, with acts ranging from top DJ Graeme Park to indie idols Slow Readers Club using their stage for online gigs.

Victoria Robinson, their chief executive, said: "2020 has been a hugely challenging year for our organisation, and in the creative industries in general.

“Arts centres like ours can play a wider social role bringing communities together and are vital for shaping the recovery of towns across the UK.

“We are grateful to Arts Council England and the Department for Culture Media nad Sports for their role in this funding which means The Met can continue to build on the new skills and knowledge that our team have adapted to so well over the year so far.

"We will use this to take the next steps to have our work reach people who really need it during the months to come, and to support the artists, technicians and creatives who help us deliver amazing experiences in and beyond our venue."

Mr Dowden added: “These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country.

"This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

And Sir Nicholas Serota, chairman of Arts Council England, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages.

"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 challenging times.”