Museums secure cash from heritage recovery funds

Organisations benefit from Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund
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Simon Stephens
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Migration Museum Project at Lewisham Shopping Centre
Migration Museum Project at Lewisham Shopping Centre

Museums are among the organisations to benefit from government grants designed to help heritage organisations in England keep afloat during the Covid crisis, it was announced on 9 October.

This £103m funding package is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund, which are administered by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The money is the first major tranche of funding from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.

There are 433 organisations receiving a share of £67m from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage to help with operating, reopening and recovery costs.

Among the museums to benefit are Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust; Biggin Hill Memorial Museum; Bodmin Jail Museum; East End Women's Museum; Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising; Rural Life Living Museum; National Emergency Services Museum; and the Migration Museum Project.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage grants are to help restart repair and maintenance work, to keep venues open and to save jobs and livelihoods. Grants are between £10,000 and £1m with a further round of grants of up to £3m due to be announced imminently.

And 12 organisations, including English Heritage, Landmark Trust, Historic Royal Palaces and the Canal and River Trust, will receive £34m from the Heritage Stimulus Fund. The DCMS said the money is for restarting construction and maintenance work on the heritage sites, which will help to preserve the visitor attractions and protect the livelihoods of heritage specialists and contractors.

Ros Kerslake, the 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, 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 particularly 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 being permanently lost.”

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