Elizabeth Gaskell’s House receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

9th October 2020
in news

Almost 450 heritage organisations in England, including Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, have been awarded cash from the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

445 organisations will share £103 million, including Elizabeth Gaskell’s House to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

We have been awarded £49,700 to fund essential overheads including staffing, with support also to move some of its activities on-line including talks and events.  The grant will also fund important business planning to develop strategies that will help Elizabeth Gaskell’s House to be sustainable in the longer term. 

This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arm’s 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 bounceback post covid.”

Frank Galvin, Chair of Trustees at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, said:
“We are very grateful for the support provided by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage which will enable us to continue to open the House and welcome visitors on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and for smaller weddings of up to 15 guests on other days. Our dedicated staff and volunteers have risen to the challenge by providing a safe and welcoming environment for visitors, who say how they have especially enjoyed their visits to us at such a difficult time. This latest Government support is much appreciated and will help to sustain us through the coming winter months”

Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd, House Manager at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House said:
“With the support of the Cultural Recovery Fund we will be able to develop our new online talks and events programme further allowing us to reach bigger and new audiences across the UK and internationally. The wellbeing benefits of those engaging with the house for visits, talks or the monthly second-hand book sale have been very apparent since we re-opened in August and we are delighted that our staff and volunteer team can continue to bring Manchester’s literary heritage to life in new and innovative ways.”

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.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial.  Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live.  All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.

“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet.  But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”

Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “This support for our nation’s heritage is fantastic news.  Over the last few months, our teams have been working hard to welcome visitors back safely to the great castles, stone circles, abbeys and historic houses in our care. This funding will help us invest to safeguard the historic fabric of these much-loved places, which everyone can learn from and enjoy.”

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The guides brought the home alive. It was inspiring to hear about this woman and extraordinary family

Visitor to the House in 2021