Winchester Cathedral receives grant from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

April 8, 2021

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Winchester Cathedral has received a grant of £467,800 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help with its recovery, to support the plans for re-opening to the public and to retain and increase audience engagement, especially digitally, as this has proved to be so successful throughout the last 12 months.

After a difficult year, the grant will safeguard the immediate future for Winchester Cathedral by covering on-going costs to keep it Covid-19 secure and will help to retain the skilled and committed workforce, and ensure the essential work to conserve the historic building can continue.

Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced at the beginning of April.

Alison Evans, Chief Operating Officer at Winchester Cathedral, said: “We are incredibly grateful for this funding which has enabled us to support key areas of the Cathedral’s activity in what continues to be an economically challenging time following the effects of the pandemic. The grant will help to ensure that when we’re able to fully re-open to the public, we have the team in place to provide an excellent visitor experience in safe and secure conditions for everyone. It will also help to fulfil our obligation to care for this heritage, enabling all to appreciate and enjoy the wonderful cultural and religious life on offer at Winchester Cathedral. Our team continues to work tirelessly to find creative ways to adapt to the shifting environment and we are extremely appreciative of the support given by the Culture Recovery Fund.”

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. This brings the Government’s total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

The second round of awards made this month will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing.”

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen in the months ahead.”

The funding awarded is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England.