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09 Nov 2020
Hundreds of heritage attractions saved by £103m Covid rescue fund
By Tom Walker
Hundreds of heritage attractions saved by £103m Covid rescue fund
Chiswick House is among the heritage attractions to share the funding
Photo: Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock.com
Hundreds of heritage attractions and organisations in England will share a £103m government rescue fund to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding, announced by culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, is the first major portion of investment handed out from the government’s £1.57bn culture recovery fund, launched earlier this year.

The £103m will be divided into three separate lots.

A total of 433 organisations will share £67m to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery.

Among those to benefit are a number of famous heritage attractions – from Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and Blyth Tall Ship to the Severn Valley Railway and the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire.

A further £34m will be shared by 12 organisations – which include English Heritage, Landmark Trust, Historic Royal Palaces and the Canal and River Trust – to help them restart construction and maintenance on heritage visitor attractions.

In addition, the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has been awarded a grant to support charities and social enterprises, occupying historic buildings, to develop new business plans and strategies.

"It's 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," said Duncan Wilson, CEO of Historic England.

"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 funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations."

Culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, added: "As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past.

"This support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post-Covid."

• To see the full list of organisations receiving funding (and to view the values of the grants), click here.

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