Some 445 heritage organisations affected by Covid-19 are set to receive more than £103 million in affordable loans and grant funding, it has been revealed.
The figures, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DDCMS), are among the first to highlight the success of the Government’s landmark Culture Recovery Fund.
The £1.57 billion initiative was launched in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced thousands of heritage organisations to reduce services or shut their doors to the public completely.
Under the scheme, organisations affected by Covid-19, such as museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues, can apply for emergency finance to keep venues and attractions open and save jobs.
Each organisation can apply for grants and loans of between £10,000 and £1 million.
The latest data shows that some 445 organisations have now made a successful claim through the Culture Recovery Fund, totalling more than £103 million in non-repayable grant funding and affordable loans, to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery.
This includes Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire, Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Blyth Tall Ship, the Severn Valley Railway, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire, and the Piecehall in Halifax.
Commenting on the announcement, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, added: “It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites.”
The Culture Recovery Fund is just one of many initiatives launched by the Government to protect vulnerable businesses. The rescue package also includes Business Rates Relief, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and grant funding of up to £25,000 available through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.