Wells Cathedral receives more than £200,000 from the government to help it survive Covid crisis

  Posted: 15.10.20 at 17:29 by Tim Lethaby

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Wells Cathedral will be receiving more than £200,000 to help it survive the coronavirus crisis, thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund.

Four hundred and forty-five organisations including Wells Cathedral will share £103 million, to help them through the coronavirus pandemic by restarting vital work and maintenance at cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

Wells Cathedral is set to receive £201,300 from the fund, which will help cover the cost of keeping the cathedral open over the winter, staffing and equipment required to enable Covid-safe measures, and essential maintenance for its unique buildings.

The award will also enable the cathedral to retain staff with key skills who are vital to its long-term future, as well as develop new activities designed to make the cathedral more accessible to the community.

This funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and 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.

The Very Rev Dr John Davies, Dean of Wells, said: “We are thrilled to have received support from the Culture Recovery Fund.

"Described as the 'most poetic' of the English cathedrals, Wells Cathedral is home to a thriving spiritual, musical and historical ministry that stretches back nearly 850 years.

"As the earliest English cathedral to have been built entirely in the Gothic style, Wells Cathedral is a significant landmark in the South West of England and has an international reputation.

"Since the pandemic began, we have faced huge challenges. The cathedral’s usual income is projected to reduce by almost half for 2020.

"The funding awarded to us by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is essential – it will help the cathedral maintain and protect important heritage, and keep it accessible to the public in the face of the coronavirus pandemic."

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.”

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