Having already provided urgent cash boosts worth around £1.2 billion to more than 5,000 organisations in England, the last stage of the funding programme is now aiming to safeguard the futures of many more cultural institutions.

The focus of this final round is the sector-wide move towards reopening at full capacity, seen as the best way of increasing resilience, enabling forward planning and protecting jobs.

“Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of organisations across the country to survive and protected hundreds of thousands of jobs,” states Dowden. “Now, as we look forward to full reopening, this funding shows our commitment to stand behind culture and heritage all the way through the pandemic.”

Approaching £220 million will be made available directly through the Fund, whether organisations are new applicants at imminent risk of failure or existing recipients of Culture Recovery Fund grants.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, welcomed the news, labelling the Cultural Recovery Fund “a lifeline for the sector” that has already “saved hundreds of cultural organisations across the country from collapse”.

£35 million will also be distributed via another round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund, with support prioritised for major programmes focussed on the repair of at-risk sites. Further, a £20 million Cultural Asset Fund will support the National Heritage Memorial Fund’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

“Summer is such an important time for the heritage sector, as visitors discover the delights of our heritage attractions and generate income to fund essential repairs,” notes Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England.

“The pandemic has disrupted the normal rhythm of life for our historic places, so I’m delighted that more funding has been made available to help them through this critical stage in recovery. It will enable vital repair and maintenance work to go ahead, while providing employment for the specialist craft workers who ensure that our precious landmarks can survive.”

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