TWO puppeteers and a dance company from Bolton are set to receive a share of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund to cope with the pandemic.

Will Cousins and Ben Richards, who began by making large-scale puppets for other productions, set up The Big Tiny in 2016 and rapidly established the company as one of the most dynamic and exciting theatre producers in the North West.

The pair, who are currently working at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, have received £51,306.

“This will make the difference between some very hard times this winter and being able to produce some exciting shows,” said Ben.

“We’d like to give a thumbs up to the Government for supporting for us with this grant and it’s a real vote of confidence for regional pantomime.

“The Big Tiny are very grateful for the help we have received our local MP Mark Logan and his ceaseless work promoting business and the arts in Bolton.”

Dance company HDI, which stages special camps across the country, has received £115,000 grant.

Director Josh Ricketts, said: “I feel I’ll be able to sleep again knowing we can move forwards with continuing to offer a high standard of dance training by giving work to freelance choreographers and working alongside dance studio owners to help young people stay engaged doing what they love.”

Mark Logan Bolton North East MP added: “This funding is a vital boost for the arts and culture sector which has been badly affected by the pandemic.

“It’s right that two Boltonian businesses stand to benefit from this as arts and culture define the people of this country. It’s hugely important these companies get the recognition and financial support they need.”