Museums Worcestershire has been awarded £96,454 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.
Museums Worcestershire is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
Museums Worcestershire is the joint museum service of Worcester City and Worcestershire County Councils. It comprises three fantastic venues – Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, the Commandery in Worcester, and The County Museum at Hartlebury Castle. Last year the three museums attracted more than 100,000 visitors and delivered £1.5m into the local visitor economy.
The museums work across Worcestershire’s communities, including providing moments of connection for those living with dementia, for looked-after children and during lockdown, those at risk of social isolation. The funding will equip the learning team to engage with schools and communities both in-museum with the development of Covid-safe interactives and providing outreach support for those who are unable to visit in person.
The funding will enable the museums to re-start and build commercial activities which have been hugely impacted by the pandemic. Introduction and enhancement of Wi-Fi in the museums will be a huge benefit to organisations hiring the unique historical spaces.
It will fund the extra costs involved in installing exhibitions in ways that keep staff safe, meaning the museums can continue with their excellent and very popular exhibitions programme.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.
“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”
Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:
“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”
Chair, Joint Museums Committee, County Councillor Lucy Hodgson said:
“We are incredibly grateful for this lifeline for our excellent Museums Service. Museums Worcestershire is committed to supporting our communities, visitors, and partner heritage organisations. The funding will enable our museums to transform rapidly; rebuilding our community participation and our earned income to make the service more diverse and resilient moving forwards. Importantly it will enable our visitors to continue enjoying the art and heritage they know and love”.
Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk
Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of several bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and unprecedented support package of £1.57 for the culture and heritage sector. Find out more here.