The NHLF has announced that the Heritage Emergency Fund has helped more than 950 heritage organisations across the UK to cope with the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. In total, 961 grants were awarded worth £49.8million to help the heritage community support staff, cover essential maintenance and utility costs, and prepare to safely reopen.
This figure represents a 77% success rate across the total applications received. Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “This is the biggest heritage crisis I have seen in my lifetime. Every area of heritage we support has been severely affected, from wildlife trusts and gardens to museums and historic railways. Many of the places we know and love faced permanent closure within weeks of the start of lockdown.”
“We realised that heritage would need significant support to survive, and we have worked incredibly hard to provide a lifeline and get grants out of the door in record time. We cannot save everyone and challenges still lie ahead, but we are grateful that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to help so many.”
The highest proportion of grants went to organisations that manage historic buildings and monuments (29%). This was closely followed by community and intangible heritage, such as theatre groups, cultural associations, and those supporting traditional skills such as dry stone walling (26%). Museums, libraries and archives received 19%, natural heritage 14%, whilst industrial, maritime and transport heritage sites received 10% of the grants.
In England the breakdown was as follows. In London and the South of England, Heritage Emergency Fund grants went to: historic buildings and monuments, 32%; culture and memories, 25%; museums, libraries and archives, 20%; landscapes and nature: 13%; industrial, maritime and transport: 9%; and other, 1%.
In the Midlands and East of England, Heritage Emergency Fund grants went to : historic buildings and monuments, 28%; culture and memories, 23%; museums, libraries and archives, 20%; landscapes and nature, 17%; industrial, maritime and transport: 10%; and other: 2%.
In the North of England, Heritage Emergency Fund grants went to: culture and memories: 35%; historic buildings and monuments, 25%; museums, libraries and archives, 16%; landscapes and nature, 12%; industrial, maritime and transport, 10%; and other 2%.
Amongst the industrial heritage and archaeology sites receiving grants were: Alexandra Palace, Amberley Museum, Heron Corn Mill, Loughborough Bell Foundry, Blue Bell Railway, KWVR, Midland Railway, SS Great Britain, Steam Tug Kearne, Severn Valley, Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum, Waterworks Museum in Hereford, and Wheal Martyn Mine.