CHESTER Cathedral has received a grant of £ 884,000 from the government’s £ 1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organization recover and reopen.
Nearly £ 400million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organizations across the country, including Chester Cathedral in the Culture Recovery Fund’s latest round of support, the Culture Secretary said.
The cathedral has been forced to take drastic measures to ensure the viability of the organization since the start of the Covid, in order to minimize the gap between income and expenditure.
Staff numbers were reduced, reserves expended and loans contracted to cover losses incurred until 2020.
This award will allow the cathedral to reopen and reconnect with the city and its communities.
The place is this week open as a Covid test site for people without symptoms.
More than £ 800million in grants and loans have already been made to support nearly 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organizations facing the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of cultural and heritage organizations across the country survive the world’s greatest crisis. that they have ever met.
“Now we stand by their side as they prepare to welcome audiences once again through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan to reopen and thrive in the best times to come.”
The Dean of Chester, The Right Reverend Dr Tim Stratford, said: “It is great news that a grant of up to £ 884,000 is being made through the Cultural Recovery Fund at Chester Cathedral.
“It will make a huge difference as we prepare to reopen our doors to visitors.
“I hope this means the Cathedral can make a great contribution as the cultural, heritage and spiritual heart of Chester as we did before Covid, benefiting both the local community and its economy while enriching life. visitors. ”
Ros Kerslake, CEO of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine, but also a sense of optimism and hope for the future.
“We are all looking forward to the reopening of heritage places and other tourist attractions and I am very happy that we were able to help DCMS provide this vital funding to ensure the UK heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, create jobs and promote personal well-being.
Duncan Wilson, Managing Director of Historic England, said: “The value of our heritage sites and the people who manage them has been amply demonstrated, as they provided a foothold for so many of us during the dark days of Last year.
“Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish will begin to reopen in the coming months. ”
Funding has been provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, as well as the British Film Institute and the Arts Council England.