Cathedral receives vital support from Culture Recovery Fund
St Edmundsbury Cathedral has received a grant of £72,900 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen. Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including St Edmundsbury Cathedral in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced recently.
The Grade 1 listed Cathedral, located on the historic Abbey of St Edmund site, welcomes around 70,000 visitors annually. Due to the pandemic it is adapting and re-imagining its offer to visitors, pilgrims and worshippers in order to offer engaging heritage experiences in new ways. As the Cathedral prepares to re-open and as it plans, with partners in the wider community, to mark the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund by King Cnut, this vital grant support will enable the Cathedral to carry out essential maintenance, develop its digital technology and train and equip staff and volunteers for new and enhanced roles post-pandemic.
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 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.
This funding award 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.
The Very Reverend Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury said: “St Edmundsbury Cathedral is an important place of worship and it is also a heritage site, which thousands of pilgrims and tourists visit every year to benefit from a range of spiritual, learning and cultural experiences.
This generous grant means that we are going to be able to invest properly in necessary preparations for a full reopening this summer. We will be able to train and upskill our staff and volunteers, undertake all the repairs and implement all the changes necessary to ensure visitor safety, and make good use of new technology in marketing as well as visitor experience. It is very exciting and we are immensely grateful to the government’s Culture Recovery Fund for assisting us in this way.”
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.”