The Sharpham Trust is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government to help them through the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
445 organisations, including The Trust, will share £103 million, to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.
The Sharpham Trust has been awarded £98,000, which will help the nature and mindfulness education charity continue to operate.
The Trust offers mindfulness retreats and courses, puts on nature-connection events, offers weddings and operates Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground. Like many organisations and businesses, the Trust has been severely impacted by the restrictions imposed as a result of Coronavirus.
Julian Carnell, Trust Director, said: “We were forced to close back in March and although we managed to partially reopen in August we have been operating at a much-reduced capacity as a Covid-Secure venue.
“There is a huge demand for our courses and retreats in these difficult times and we are working hard to make sure we can keep offering people these experiences safely.
“This latest £98,000 grant from the government through the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is very welcome. Despite losing around 50% of this year’s income I am proud that we have been able to keep all our staff employed and continue to support our users in the face of severe challenges.”
Helping the Trust to stay open
This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritageand the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arms-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.
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.”
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.”