Bishop’s Palace Receives Lifeline Grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

14 Oct 2020

The Bishop’s Palace receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund
  • Almost 450 heritage organisations in England, including The Bishop’s Palace in Wells have been awarded cash from the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage
  • Grants of up to £1 million will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund
  • First major tranche of funding from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
The Bishop’s Palace & Gardens is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
445 organisations will share £103 million, including The Bishop’s Palace to help restart vital work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.
The Bishop’s Palace received £364,000 from the fund, which will be used to ensure that the site can remain open throughout the winter months for the public to visit and enjoy. The funds will cover staff costs, covid-safe alterations to the working and visiting environment and digital updates including a new website to enable potential visitors to research and understand the site, and purchase their tickets online prior to visiting.
This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by Government and administered at arm’s length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.
433 organisations will receive a share of £67 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery. This includes famous heritage sites across the country, from Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Blyth Tall Ship to the Severn Valley Railway, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire to the Piecehall in Halifax. The funds will save sites that are a source of pride for communities across the country.
12 organisations, including English Heritage, Landmark Trust, Historic Royal Palaces and the Canal and River Trust, will receive £34 million from the Heritage Stimulus Fund to restart construction and maintenance on cherished heritage sites to preserve visitor attractions and protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors in the sector.
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.”

Rosie Martin, Chief Executive of The Palace Trust said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have received this vital funding. After suffering catastrophic losses earlier in the year, we had serious concerns about our ability to keep the site open to the public. This funding means that we can continue to employ all of our staff and to make appropriate changes to ensure that they can work safely. In turn, this means that we will be able to keep this wonderful heritage site open to all to benefit from and enjoy. We’ve seen that visitors and locals have a new found appreciation for our stunning gardens and we hear that spending time at our site is contributing to people’s sense of wellbeing at this difficult time. We will also be investing some funding into our digital infrastructure to ensure that we can maintain our digital engagement with our audiences.”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive said:
“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 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.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said:
“It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial.  Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live.  All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.
“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet.  But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”

Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said:
“This support for our nation’s heritage is fantastic news.  Over the last few months, our teams have been working hard to welcome visitors back safely to the great castles, stone circles, abbeys and historic houses in our care. This funding will help us invest to safeguard the historic fabric of these much-loved places, which everyone can learn from and enjoy.”
Bishop’s Palace Receives Lifeline Grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund
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