Northern Ireland heritage on the road to recovery thanks to £5.28million funding

Ss Nomadic ship and Titanic Belfast building in background.
Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic
£5.28million Department of Communities funding will support 50 heritage organisations and 41 heritage workers, reaching across the sector and keeping vital skills alive.

From beloved railways through to iconic landmarks and historic sites, heritage across Northern Ireland plays a key role in boosting wellbeing and the economy.

Closures forced by the pandemic have devastated income for many organisations that care for this heritage and had a damaging knock on effect for specialist workers, putting many skills at risk.

This funding, which we’re distributing on behalf of the Department for Communities, will help the sector to kickstart its recovery and thrive again.

“Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, creating economic prosperity and supporting personal wellbeing. All of these are going to be vitally important as we emerge from the current pandemic.”
Paul Mullan, Director, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Who will the funding help?

Organisations

Grants from the Heritage Recovery Fund will help many venues, sites and attractions to adapt and safely re-open again once lockdown restrictions are eased.

Some of those receiving grants include:

  • Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic will benefit from a £1.63million grant to help re-open and protect the future of its heritage, which is a significant driver of tourism and economic growth for Northern Ireland.
  • Railway Preservation Society of Ireland will receive £167,300 to continue telling the story of the unique heritage of our railways and help to re-open its Whitehead site and museum.
  • Creggan Country Park in Derry/Londonderry will use their award of £72,900 to carry out essential maintenance and protect the natural heritage of the park.
  • The Indian Community Centre will benefit from a £40,000 grant to cover essentials costs and protect the heritage of the community in Northern Ireland.
  • A £324,500 grant for National Trust NI will help protect the future of some of Northern Ireland’s significant heritage and tourism assets.

Individuals

Person touching wooden furniture
Fergus Purdy conserving a
gothic press at Castle Ward

It will also save many heritage jobs and skills from being permanently lost, such as tour guides, stonemasons and conservators.

Fergus Purdy, who’s spent 30 years restoring and caring for historic pieces of furniture, such as the Chairs of State in the Throne Room of Hillsborough Castle, says this grant will help keep his business viable.

“With work from the heritage sector accounting for 100% of my income, the pandemic has been particularly difficult, and will continue to be so, with many of my clients indicating they will not be in a position to commission work from me for some time.

“This grant will mean I can continue to keep my business viable during this uncertain period.”

Helping the sector thrive again

This is the latest package of support to aid the heritage sector’s recovery across the UK.

Paul Mullan, Director, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are grateful to the Department for Communities for providing this funding.

“The risks to historic sites, attractions and essential heritage jobs and skills from a sudden and dramatic loss of income as a result of the pandemic, have put the heritage and visitor economy in crisis, and we hope this funding will play a vital role in their recovery.

“Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, creating economic prosperity and supporting personal wellbeing. All of these are going to be vitally important as we emerge from the current pandemic.”

Find out more

See the full list of projects awarded funding.

To stay updated about this and other news of our Northern Ireland funding:

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