Government fund provides crucial lifeline for England's heritage

The Piece Hall at night
433 organisations in England have received a share of £67million in the first round of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.

The grants – which range from £10,000 to £1m – will protect heritage and save jobs from the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet. But this hugely welcome funding has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it from being permanently lost.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive

The funds are drawn from the Government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund, designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial. Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity; it is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live. All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time. 
“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet. But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from The National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it from being permanently lost.”

Where the money went

From cathedrals and cloth halls, to archives and art-deco steamships, the grants span the breadth of England’s rich heritage.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This money will secure our shared heritage for future generations.”

Grant recipients include:

The Daniel Adamson

The Daniel Adamson

This art-deco heritage steamship and living and working museum in the north-west of England received £151,000. It will ensure the 117-year-old vessel has a chance to set sail again after the pandemic. 

Farfield Mill

Farfield Mill

The mill received a £44,400 grant, which means it can once again showcase the importance of textile heritage to the local community of Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales.

Shape Arts

Shape Arts - National Disability Arts Collection and Archive project

This disability-led arts organisation holds the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA), and provides opportunities for disabled artists. They received funding of £59,000 which has supported their NDACA project; a history of the UK Disability Arts Movement.

Levens Hall

Levens Hall and gardens

This Cumbrian house with a fascinating history, a record-breaking garden and rare-breed goats, was awarded £165,000. The grant will ensure it can continue to welcome visitors safely and provide a safe working environment for staff.

Lincoln Cathedral

Interior of Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral is one of the finest and largest cathedrals in northern Europe. It received a financial lifeline of £970,600 to help safeguard this important UK heritage asset.

The Oxford House in Bethnal Green

Inside The Oxford House in Bethnal Green

This charity serves as a key community and cultural space in Bethnal Green, and is one of the few remaining examples of the Victorian Settlement movement. Their grant of £42,000 will allow them to continue serving the community in one of London’s poorest areas.

Newcastle Castle

Newcastle Castle

The castle which gave the city its name received a grant of £206,700 to help save the attraction and preserve the heritage for the city. 

Northumberland Archives

A Papal Bull from Pope Adrian IV, held at the Nothumberland Archives
A Papal Bull from Pope Adrian IV, held at the Northumberland Archives

The archives is home to five linear miles of records dating back to 1156. Its £48,100 grant will allow the archives to refocus the delivery methods of its services, install new ways of income generation, and build in resilience.  

Armenian Institute

Armenian Institute visitors

The leading UK institution for the culture and heritage of the Armenian diaspora received a £37,900 grant.  This income will support the management of their archive and continue to celebrate Armenian culture.

The Old Royal Naval College

The Old Royal Naval College

This iconic ensemble of 18th-century Baroque architecture and landscaping was awarded £1m to support its continued operation. The grant will cover both immediate costs and those that look to the future, such as public engagement and generating new sources of income.

The Piece Hall

The Piece Hall

The last remaining Grade I listed Georgian cloth hall in the world received £995,000. The grant will ensure the Piece Hall’s extensive outreach programme will be able to continue reaching diverse groups.

Black Cultural Archives

Outside shot of the Black cultural Archvies

This national heritage centre in the heart of Brixton is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain. The grant of £81,000 will allow them to continue welcoming visitors in a safe environment.

Sandycombe Lodge

Sandycombe Lodge, JMW Turner's house

This house was designed and built between 1813–1816 by the artist JMW Turner. It received £58,800 to support its COVID-19 adaptations, allowing visitors to once again experience Turner’s house as he knew it, by learning about his life and work.

Victoria Baths, Manchester

A family leaving Victoria Baths

The much-loved facility, recently restored and returned to public use, received £156,000 to cover income lost during lockdown and pay essential running costs.

The Winter Gardens in Blackpool

The Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool

Home to 10 venues – including the Opera House Theatre, the Empress Ballroom and the Pavilion Theatre – its grant of £846,600 will cover staff salaries and essential operating costs. Social distancing and bans on mass gatherings has prevented the organisation from hosting any events since March.

View the full list of Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage grants up to £1m.

More to come

A further batch of Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage grants, up to £3m, will be announced shortly.

The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is being distributed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, in partnership with Historic England, on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

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