Clifton House in Belfast has recieved an emergency grant to meet staffing costs and devleop online tours and talks

Heritage Emergency Fund extended to help organisations reopen

Rebecca Atkinson, 22.06.2020
£50m raised by National Lottery players can now be used to help organisations 'recover and reopen'
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has announced that the deadline to apply for its emergency Covid-19 funding has been extended to the end of July – and organisations can now use the money to help them reopen as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The £50m Heritage Emergency Fund was set up in late April to help organisations survive the significant impact of pandemic by meeting essential costs such as staff wages or utility bills.

Hundreds of grants have already been awarded to cover emergency costs, including an £18,900 grant to Clifton House in Belfast to help meet staffing costs and develop an online talks programme and two virtual tours.

Now that museums are increasingly investigating how they can reopen to visitors, the fund will also cover recovery costs – such as creating new operating and business plans or investing in digital capacity – and the costs of reopening safely and in line with government guidance.

This means grants can now cover costs such as additional staff to manage queues; PPE for staff and volunteers; additional cleaning; or implementing contactless payment methods.

Grants of between £3,000 and £50,000 or £50,000 and £250,000 are available.

“This is still a time of great change and uncertainty for heritage organisations, and we are with them in heart and mind right now as they take uncertain steps back into a fast-changing world,” says Ros Kerslake, the chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

“We are keen to help them in planning for the recovery that is so vital for heritage, its people and communities.”

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