AVONCROFT Museum will receive a lifeline £183,943 grant from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, it has been announced today.
The cash comes during the second tranche of funding from the £1.57billion pot to ensure venues have a post-pandemic sustainable future.
Avoncroft was England’s first open air museum with a culturally significant collection of buildings from across the region and beyond including 12 Grade II and one Grade I listed structures.
The museum is a charity and does not receive any funding from the Government or the local authority it relies on income through admissions, functions and retail.
After being forced to close in March at the start of the lockdown, the loss of four months trading has had a devastating impact on the charity’s finances
The funding will cover core costs including repair and conservation of buildings during the winter months, as well as improvements to their access programmes.
The venue, which reopened in July with safety measures and social distancing in place, also has plans to hold out-of-hours, socially distanced events, to boost income and engagement.
The Worcester Live Charitable Trust Ltd which runs The Swan Theatre and Huntingdon Hall also received £244,000.
The funding there will save jobs, support the temporary closure of Huntingdon Hall and allow the safe re-opening of the Swan Theatre for community groups, youth workshops and partnership outreach programmes.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back.
“Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.
“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”
Peter Knott, area director of Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted the Culture Recovery Fund has enabled support for a wide range of arts and cultural sector companies across Worcestershire.
“This latest set of awards builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis.
“The Government’s package is hugely welcome, providing much of the sector with resources to remain in business through to the Spring.
“Well-loved community projects, theatres, galleries, museums, clubs, music venues, festivals, key cultural suppliers along with other creative spaces and projects have benefited.
“This is welcome news not only for those in receipt of the funding but also for communities in villages, towns and cities across the Midlands where this matters so much.
“We know that creativity, arts and culture benefit us in so many ways, having a positive impact on our wellbeing, bringing us together and making a significant contribution to the local and national economy – today’s announcements gives us a chance to continue that and contribute to the national recovery, post-Covid.”
The funding distributed today follows £257million awarded to 1,385 organisations on Monday.
Click here for more on Avoncroft Museum, which is currently open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.