Chichester, Exeter and Lincoln cathedrals are among the 445 establishments that will share £103m to help them on their journey of recovery post-covid, restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance, offer a safe welcome to visitors, and secure their buildings for future generations.
Sixteen of our cathedrals are amongst the 445 heritage organisations across the country to receive a financial boost to help them survive the pandemic thanks to the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
Lincoln Cathedral, which has announced estimated losses of almost £1m, will receive a grant of £970,600 from the Culture Recovery Fund.
The Dean, the Very Revd Christine Wilson, said:
“In March Lincoln Cathedral closed its doors to its worshipping community, pilgrims, staff, volunteers and visitors alike; the first time in its recent history that the building stood silent and empty. The impact on the Cathedral has been profound and the loss of revenue from all sources means that our heritage, traditions and people are under threat today more than ever before.
“As we continue to make difficult decisions on a daily basis, this grant will help to stabilise the Cathedral’s finances as we continue to recover and build a sustainable future. The building is once again open to visitors and it is a pleasure to see the Cathedral being used for its original purpose now that worship has resumed. The funding will ensure that we can preserve this internationally important building for future generations and continue the vital restoration work.
“In short, the grant from the Culture Recovery Fund is a lifeline for the Cathedral and is helping to ensure we can continue to keep its doors open as a place of worship, welcome, hospitality and heritage.”
And in Chichester where losses over £1m were forecast due to the pandemic, the Dean of Chichester, the Very Revd Stephen Waine, said:
“We are incredibly grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England. These funds will support the Cathedral and its community on our journey of recovery.”
Exeter Cathedral has secured a grant of £740, 000 that it announced would be used to stabilise its finances through the winter months after significant losses due to lockdown as well as enable the cathedral to be better equipped to meet the needs of its community in the future.
The Dean, the Very Revd Jonathan Greener, said the grant was an extremely welcome addition to a range of support offered to cathedrals in recent months.
“Because of the necessary coronavirus lockdown, we have been facing a significant hole in our funding this year and sadly had to take action to reduce our expenditure in a number of ways.
“However, thanks to this grant from the Culture Recovery Fund, along with other forms of government support, grants from trusts, and donations from individuals, we can now stabilise our finances for this year, and face the challenges of next year with more confidence.
“We shall always be grateful to those who have recognised the importance of preserving Exeter’s 900-year-old Cathedral, and have stepped in to offer help when it is most needed,” he added.
The Church of England cathedrals which have benefited from the Culture Recovery Fund are Canterbury, Chichester, Derby, Ely, Exeter, Gloucester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Southwell Minster, St Albans, Sheffield, Truro, Wells and Winchester.
The funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arms-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 Piece Hall 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.
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has also been awarded a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund through Historic England. The AHF will use the funding to support charities and social enterprises occupying historic buildings to develop new business plans and strategies for organisations affected by the pandemic.
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 bounce-back post covid.”
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.”