Lifeline grants for culture in all corners of the country

Culture across the country benefits as Lifeline grants from the latest round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will protect a further 162 heritage sites across the country.

image: North York Moors Railway for illustration purposes only – Peter Badcock

… today’s funding package helps a diverse range of heritage organisations…

… ensure that jobs and access to arts, culture and heritage in local communities are protected…

… kickstarting essential repairs and maintenance…

Government UK writes:

  • More help for heritage in need with £14 million investment in England’s historic sites including Durham Cathedral and Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill
  • Iconic venue Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London, and leading arts organisations Opera North, Leeds, and The Lowry, Salford, among leading cultural centres helped by over £18 million in grants

Lifeline grants from the latest round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will protect a further 162 heritage sites to ensure that jobs and access to arts, culture and heritage in local communities are protected in the months ahead, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Historic sites and leading cultural organisations, including iconic venues like Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and The Lowry in Salford, will receive help to meet ongoing costs and support to restart activity when it is possible to do so safely.

Over £18 million in funding will go to 8 arts and cultural organisations around the country in the second round of grants between £1 million and £3 million awarded by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This funding builds on £75 million in grants over £1 million for iconic venues like Shakespeare’s Globe and the Sheffield Crucible last month. In this round one of the oldest jazz clubs in the world, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, will receive £1,272,631 to explore streamed performance opportunities for emerging and established British musicians.

More than £9 million has been allocated by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which builds on £103 million awarded to places such as Highclere Castle last month. In addition, £5 million will go to construction and maintenance projects that have been paused due to the pandemic.

St Paul’s and Durham Cathedral are among some of the country’s most recognisable landmarks receiving the highest available grants over £1 million to ensure they can be protected from the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. A grant of £2,125,000 will provide stability for St Paul’s which usually relies on visitors for 90% of its annual income and Durham Cathedral, popular with thousands of visitors every year as a filming location for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, will receive £1,935,000 to cover staff costs and installing essential safety measures.

Blenheim Palace, the Oxfordshire birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, will receive £1,896,000 for extensive repairs and updates to exhibition areas for visitors when it is safe to reopen.

All four nations are benefiting from the UK Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, with £188 million barnetted to the Devolved Administrations to run their own process – £97 million for Scotland, £59 million for Wales and £33 million for Northern Ireland. This funding will enable them to increase the support already available to the arts and cultural sectors in each nation.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities.

“From St Paul’s and Ronnie Scott’s to The Lowry and Durham Cathedral, we’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it can bounce back strongly.”

Grants between between £10,000 and £1 million have been awarded to stabilise 77 organisations. Sites include Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre in Macclesfield, the UK’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, which will receive £125,600 to develop the centre’s online offer to engage visitors unable to attend the site.

Historic England has allocated £3,971,513 in awards from the Heritage Stimulus Fund, part of a £120 million capital investment from the Culture Recovery Fund, to restart construction and maintenance projects facing delays or increased costs as a result of the pandemic and save specialist livelihoods in the sector.

Projects include Taylor’s Bell Foundry, the only surviving bell foundry still in operation in the UK, which will receive £449,918 for urgent repairs to the site to ensure that manufacturing can continue. As well as supporting thousands of heritage sites that rely on its services to maintain their historic bells and towers, this grant will preserve skills and processes unique to the industry.

74 organisations are also receiving grants of up to £25,000 from the Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund, launched by Historic England and almost quadrupled thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund, to cover maintenance and repairs urgently needed on historic buildings and sites up and down the country. The unique Crystal Palace Dinosaurs which will benefit from £19,870 for repairs to these cherished local landmarks.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England said:

“Historic places across the country, from Durham Cathedral embodying more than a thousand years of history to the Crystal Palace dinosaurs, much loved by children and grownups alike, are being supported by the Government’s latest round of grants awarded under the Culture Recovery Fund. This funding is a lifeline which is kickstarting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of Covid-19. It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help to keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning. Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, the National Lottery Heritage Fund said:

“The Government’s £1.57bn package for culture is unprecedented and it’s important to acknowledge how valuable this has been for our heritage organisations and visitor attractions. Although we are not able to support everyone facing difficulties, today’s funding package helps a diverse range of heritage organisations from across the country survive, adapt and plan for a brighter future through the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. “By the end of this financial year we will have distributed almost £600m of Government and National Lottery Funding to heritage organisations. Investing in heritage remains vitally important, creating jobs and economic prosperity, driving tourism, supporting our wellbeing and making our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live. There is a lot more work to do to address the ongoing challenges, but this funding has provided a future for much of our heritage and the organisations that care for it, when it might otherwise have been permanently lost.”

As with other rounds, the majority of the awards have been allocated to organisations outside the capital.

The Lowry, Salford’s leading arts hub, touring venue and home to the national collection of works by LS Lowry, will receive £3,000,000 to cover ongoing costs incurred during the pandemic. Opera North, one of the major cultural institutions in the North of England and a leading opera company, will receive £2,000,000 to deliver its innovative Switch ON programme of online performances and continue its education activity virtually, including the In Harmony programme and other community partnerships.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:

“Culture makes a huge and increasing contribution to our national life, bringing communities together, fuelling our creative industries, and representing our country on the world stage. These grants add to those announced last month, and will put these organisations in a better position to bounce back and help their communities recover from this crisis. The Arts Council is grateful to the government for the special support being made available to the arts and culture through the Culture Recovery Fund and we’re proud to support all the organisations receiving awards today.”

Other arts organisations receiving grants from Arts Council England include:

  • The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury – £2,999,999 in grant funding will cover core operating costs during this challenging period and help the theatre prepare effectively for reopening in Spring 2021.

The Marlowe Theatre hosts West End shows and large-scale touring productions as well as dance, music and comedy performances in the heart of Canterbury. The Marlowe co-produces award-winning pantomime and commissions work at all scales to provide participation opportunities for local communities.

  • North York Moors Historical Railway Trust, Yorkshire – £1,904,902 will help this accredited museum and authentic steam-age visitor experience maintain skilled staff and care for the historic locomotives in its collection.

The North York Moors Historical Railway is the longest heritage railway in the UK, stretching for 18 miles through the North York Moors National Park, and is one of the biggest employers in the area supporting the region’s tourism economy.

  • London Venue Group, London – £2,358,902 will maintain well-known venues in the capital during closure and enable them to explore streaming options in the future.

Omeara, The Social and Lafayette, the group’s main spaces in the capital, provide a crucial platform for grassroot musicians and welcome record label showcases and some of the leading rising artists in UK music. These venues have been a launchpad for a huge range of some of the UK’s biggest artists, from Adele and the Chemical Brothers to Ella Eyre and James Bay.

  • Academy Music Group, London – £2,981,431 will help meet the core operating costs of 20 leading live music venues across the country, including O2 Academy venues in London, Leeds and Liverpool.

The 20 English music venues within the Academy Music Group organise around 3,000 events every year, hosting some of the UK’s leading artists and global stars including Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, Coldplay, Madonna and Dua Lipa.

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