More than £18m awarded from first round of Culture Recovery Fund

The Black Country Living Museum, which is currently operating as a vaccination centre, is one of a host of heritage projects to receive funding from the Government’s multimillion-pound Culture Recovery Fund.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced the final awards to be allocated from the first round of the £1.57bn fund.

The latest grants, awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, build on over £1bn awarded to a range of cultural and heritage organisations last year.

Projects at 22 heritage organisations will benefit from £13.5m in targeted grants allocated by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restart regeneration and maintenance projects that were planned before the pandemic and now face delays or increased costs.

The Black Country Living Museum will receive £3.74m to help keep its Forging Ahead project on track. The project is the single biggest development in the museum’s history and will create a new area on site exploring the history of the region through the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s as well as opportunities for work and skills development in the local area.

Andrew Lovett, chief executive of Black Country Living Museum, said: “Forging Ahead is now more important than ever to the future of Black Country Living Museum.  Thanks to the investment we’ve received from the Capital Kickstart Fund, and our other funders, we’re able to invest in growing the Museum and bringing the Black Country story to new audiences. The modern Black Country with its rich global connections and diversity of people is the enduring legacy of the 1940s-60s.  Forging Ahead provides a stage on which we can share new stories and celebrate the contribution of everyone who came to call the Black Country home during this remarkable period of our region’s history.

“As the biggest single development in our 43-year history, Forging Ahead gives us the momentum to thrive once again for our community following the unprecedented difficulties presented by the pandemic. Forging Ahead is not just about exploring the past, it’s also about making a positive difference to the future of this community too.  The project will help to create more than 140 new jobs in the local area and, by 2032, contribute an extra £102.5m of economic benefit.”

Meanwhile, 33 cinemas across England will benefit from £5m awarded by the BFI as the final applications for independent cinemas are processed ahead of the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “From restoring Georgian lidos and Roman baths to saving local screens and synagogues, our Culture Recovery Fund is helping to save the places people can’t wait to get back to, when it is safe to do so.

“All over the country, this funding is protecting the venues that have shaped our history and make us proud of our communities, whilst safeguarding the livelihoods of the people that work in them.”

The list of capital grant awards from National Lottery Heritage Fund:
Museum of Oxford Hidden Histories, £240,000
Bevis Marks Synagogue Heritage Foundation, £497,000
North Yorkshire Moors Historic Railway Trust, £296,000
Brighton Museum’s Royal Estate, £1,000,000
Tavistock Guildhall Gateway Centre, £130,900
Geffrye Museum Trust, £692,000
Bath Abbey, £534,000
Tunbridge Wells Cultural & Learning Hub, £675,000
The Archway Centre: Roman Baths Learning Centre and World Heritage Centre, £359,600
Swanage Pier Regeneration Project, £469,800
Cleveland Pools Trust , £290,000
Lincoln Cathedral, £973,600
Chester Farm, £719,700
Wicksteed Park, £302,700
Black Country Living Museum, £3,740,000
The Whitaker, £179,900
The Globe, Stockton-on-Tees, £774,000
The Common Room of the Great North, £228,000
Beamish Museum, £975,500
Carlisle Cathedral, £250,000
Thackray Museum, £174,600
The Hyde Park Picture House, £285,600

The list of cinemas receiving grants in this round from the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas allocated by the British Film Institute:

Reel Cinemas* (13 locations), £1,500,000
The Light Cinemas** (10 locations), £2,928,364
Archlight Cinema, London, £152,362
East Coast Cinema, Lowestoft, £89,373
The Bonington, Nottingham, £66,695
Piccadilly Cinema, Leicester, £21,220
Tower Cinema, Skegness, £36,026
CineBowl, Uttoxter, £165,448
Regal Cinema, Wadebridge, £5,625
Rex Cinema, Wareham, £52,606
Westlands Entertainment Venue, Yeovil, £33,133
The Wharf Cinema, Tavistock, £14,399

* Reel Cinemas supported are in Borehamwood, Bridgnorth (Majestic), Burnley/Hollywood Park, Chippenham, Chorley, Fareham/Market Quay, Ilkeston (Scala), Kingston Upon Hull, Morecambe, Quinton/Dudley, Rochdale, Wakefield and Widnes.

** Light Cinemas supported are in Addlestone, Bolton, Bradford, Cambridge, New Brighton, Sheffield, Stockport, Thetford, Walsall and Wisbech.