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Heritage organisations across Sefton and West Lancs are urged to apply for grants of upto £25,000 from emergency coronavirus fund

Heritage organisations across Sefton and West Lancs are urged to apply for grants of upto £25,000 from emergency coronavirus fund

by Danielle Thompson (April 2020)

SEFTON and West Lancs heritage organisations are being urged to apply for grants of upto £25,000 from a new £2million emergency fund launched by Historic England.

Historic England, which is responsible for protecting and championing the nation’s historic environment, has developed the fund to help tackle the impact of coronavirus on the heritage sector.

The aim of the fund is to ‘extend the safety net as far as possible for the sector by helping small heritage organisations both to survive the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic and prepare for recovery.’

It revealed that it has undertaken a response to its own comprehensive survey of heritage organisations, which found:

- There has been serious impact of Coronavirus on the sector, particularly on small organisations of 10 employees or fewer.

- Almost eight out of ten respondents (77%) to the survey reported they had lost business in the short term, while 59% had been forced to postpone or cancel income-generating events.

Whilst the impact of Coronavirus has been serious, Government support schemes are providing assistance and 90% of businesses felt able to keep going in the short term. Craft workers and professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors appear to be most vulnerable with 50% in the North West concerned for their businesses and in need of additional support.

Craft workers and professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors appear to be most vulnerable, with 50% in the North West predicting their businesses will fail within three months unless they receive additional support.

Historic England is inviting applications from heritage organisations, self-employed contractors, third-sector organisations and voluntary groups that have been severely affected by the impact of coronavirus and need additional short-term emergency financial support to ‘ensure their survival.’

The organisation will also consider supporting projects and activities that respond to the current crisis and contribute to recovery in the heritage sector.

The fund is designed to complement the measures already put in place by the Government, as well as the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s recently announced £50million emergency fund.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s chief executive, said: “We know that coronavirus has hit everyone hard, including the heritage sector, and that there are many individuals and organisations that are really struggling for survival at the moment. The safeguarding of their livelihoods will also determine the survival of our most precious heritage. Many of the skills that are needed to protect our heritage are already in desperately short supply and if these skilled specialists go out of business during this difficult time, the hard truth is that some of our heritage will be lost forever.”

The deadline for new applications is midnight on Sunday (May 3) and the funding for successful applications will be awarded from mid-May.

More information or to apply, go to https://historicengland.org.uk/coronavirus/fund/

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