Arts and cultural venues across Copeland have been awarded almost £900,000 to help them reopen and recover as lock down restrictions begin to ease.
The funding has been announced as part of Round 2 of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, set up to help the sector face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.
Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, Keswick Museum & Art Gallery, Muncaster Castle, The Beacon Museum, Rosehill Arts Trust, Theatre by the Lake and Threlkeld Quarry Museum have each received funding as well as The Parochial Church Council of St Bees Priory, The Priory Church of St Mary and St Bega and The Vicarage St Bees.
These creative and cultural organisations are just nine of more than 2,700 across the country receiving urgently needed support.
Peter Frost-Pennington of Muncaster Castle said: “We are so happy, after such a long and difficult winter, to hear of our success in receiving a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund.
“This means so much to us and our loyal, hardworking staff; we all delight in presenting Muncaster at its best to anyone who honours us with a visit and this grant will really help us to achieve that aim.”
This funding 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 funding was reserved in the first round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to allow the Government to respond to the changing public health picture. With more than 70% of funding going outside of London, it will help organisations across the country as they welcome back visitors and return to normal operating models in the months ahead.
MP for Copeland, Trudy Harrison, said: “This further funding support for our much-loved arts and cultural venues reflects the Government’s commitment to the sector and recognises how important such venues are to our communities.
“The last year has been incredibly difficult for so many and venues such as these provide hope, inspiration, entertainment and education whether that be from visiting museums and art galleries or watching a play or music concert, so it is right that they are protected.”
The funding awarded today 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.
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.”
At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon.