Through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, support is being made available to heritage organisations across England, including £1.5 million in Taunton Deane.
Earlier this year, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport made £1.57bn of support available through its Culture Recovery Fund to support heritage and the wider cultural sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England have worked together to ensure that this significant investment from Government reaches the organisations most in need.
Hestercombe Gardens Trust and the National Trust’s Wellington Monument restoration project will share just over £1m and Taunton Theatre Association, who run the Brewhouse, and South West Heritage Trust will share just under £400,000.
It will enable Hestercombe to continue to welcome visitors to their wonderful gardens and it is also a significant contribution to the overall fundraising goal and a vital step towards safeguarding the future of the Monument. It will also give the Brewhouse Theatre and the South West Heritage Trust some breathing space as they navigate through the ongoing challenges ahead and help them plan for their recovery.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”
Local MP Rebecca Pow said: “Heritage and culture is such an important part of life, not just in Taunton Deane, but the whole country. I am delighted that we are benefitting from just over £1m of funding locally to help recover some of the losses that have been incurred due to the pandemic. It will enable Hestercombe to continue to welcome visitors to their wonderful gardens and it is also a significant contribution to the overall fundraising goal and a vital step towards safeguarding the future of the Monument.”
Hestercombe Gardens Trust chairman, Sir Andrew Burns KCMG, said: 'We are thrilled to announce that we have been chosen as a grantee for the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage as part of the ‘Here for Culture’ campaign, set up by the Heritage Fund UK. This new boost to our funds will help us recover some of the losses the charity incurred due to the national COVID-19 lockdown and will enable us to continue welcoming visitors to these world-famous gardens and sustain our important role within the local community.'
A full list of successful organisations for the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage can be found here.