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Here for Culture

by Michael Ford last modified 09 Oct, 2020 10:44 PM

The Church of England is thanking the Government, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England for grants totalling over £10.7m to 66 churches and cathedrals across the country, including our Cathedral.

This funding represents a lifeline for places that, as well as regular daily worship, also provide people with opportunities to engage with heritage and the arts to inspire, comfort and uplift people during these difficult times.

16 cathedrals and 50 parish churches - 24 designated as 'major churches' - will benefit from money under the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage (the CRF for Heritage).

Our Cathedral has been awarded £245,000 to help adapt to the 'new normal' and help cover some of the costs involved in the rapid changes and adaptations necessary to be open safely. The money will also support work on ways the Cathedral can remain financially sustainable in the future, helping it to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Dean of Salisbury- photo by Ash Mills
Photo by Ash Mills

Dean of Salisbury Nicholas Papadopulos said:

“The financial crisis that this pandemic has caused is biting harder than ever across the country and I am aware that many are suffering. I am, therefore, very grateful to all our supporters, DCMS, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, our community and Cathedral Friends - to each and every donor - for the help they have given and are giving us.

“As in 2018, during the Novichok crisis, the Cathedral is proving remarkably resilient. We are not out of the woods yet, and are mindful that 2021 is unlikely to see a rapid return to ‘normal’, and we may be working with considerable constraints for some time to come. However, thanks to the support we have been given, we are making inroads into our projected £2m shortfall this year.

“We can’t thank those who have helped us get to this point enough and for our part, we will do our best to raise funds and ensure that we remain relevant and vibrant, particularly as we approach Christmas and the New Year.”

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.”

The CRF for Heritage was designed to support organisations in England from across the heritage ecosystem that were financially viable prior to Covid-19 and who are now at risk of failure.

The grants range between £10k and £1m, and are intended to help churches and cathedrals with their running costs, expenses incurred by Covid-19, business planning, and job retention.

The Archbishops’ Council is also delighted to have been successful in its separate application to the Historic England-administered Grants for Programmes of Major Works, which also forms part of the overall Culture Recovery Fund.

This fund, which awards money to national organisations responsible for a nationally-significant portfolio of highly listed historic buildings, will be allocated by the Council to cathedrals and major churches for capital works that are vital to keeping the buildings safe and open to the public.

This investment ensures jobs for specialist builders, craftspeople, architects, conservators and many others. Details of the exact amount and allocation of this money will be announced in the near future.

Many churches also applied to Historic England’s Heritage At Risk fund, which invited applications for grants of up to £25k for capital works. Applications are still being processed and results will be announced as soon as possible.

The Arts Council fund, which included grants for choirs, will announce results soon.

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