Heritage organisations across the country are receiving a financial boost from the government, from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
445 organisations will share £103 million to help restart vital repair and maintenance work on cherished heritage sites, to keep venues open and to save jobs and livelihoods.
The iconic Middleport Pottery and the well-loved Ford Green Hall in Stoke-on-Trent have benefited from the money.
The vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by government and administered by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.
Conservative Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove & Talke, Jonathan Gullis, welcomed the support from government.
“Museums and tourist destinations have struggled over the summer due to uncertainty caused by the pandemic. I know how vital this money is to Middleport Pottery and Ford Green Hall. I want to thank the government and Historic England in ensuring that they are receiving what they need.”
“Whilst local initiatives like Stoke-cation helped boost footfall; levels were still well below what they should have been during the summer holidays.”
“This has had a real impact on donations and admissions, which are a vital source of funding to keep the lights on and the roofs repaired. Middleport Pottery & Ford Green Hall have a special place in the hearts of Stokies and our city’s history, and this money will help them recover from the pandemic.”
Grants are between £10,000 and £1 million — a further round of grants of up to £3 million due to be announced imminently.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said, “It is heartening to see grants 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.”
Heritage Champion for Stoke-on-Trent, Conservative Councillor James Smith, thanked Historic England for making sure the city did not miss out.
“Tourism is one of the main contributors to the economy in our city because of our amazing and unique industrial heritage.”
“It is vital that we must do all we can to help these institutions survive the pandemic so that we can enjoy them again with family and friends. This funding will help keep these amazing sites ticking over whilst we get through the winter.”