Museums Northumberland, which comprises Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, Hexham Old Gaol, Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum and Woodhorn Museum, as well as Museums Northumberland: bait, has received £281,544 from the second round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the charity recover and reopen this year.
In addition to covering lost income, the funding will be used to develop new onsite and online experiences providing greater access to Museums Northumberland’s stories. Plans include a digital Northumberland Miners’ Picnic, and a new exhibition by leading artist, Jonny Hannah, across Museums Northumberland’s four sites.
Rowan Brown, chief executive of Museums Northumberland, said: ”We’re absolutely delighted with this lifeline from Arts Council, who’ve already provided incredible support throughout the pandemic. As we work towards reopening our museums – some of which have now been closed for well over a year – we can do so confidently and creatively, with the funding in place to work with our communities in new and dynamic ways.”
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, including Museums Northumberland, in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund.
Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.
“Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.
“We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”
The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.