Historic England launches £3m fund to help heritage sites through crisis

Grants of up to £25,000 are available to support sites that are re-opening to the public

Historic England is offering a £3m fund for charities running historic sites that are in crisis because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Historic England, which is responsible for protecting and championing the nation’s historic environment, is awarding grants of up to £25,000 to support the re-opening of publicly accessible historic buildings and sites. 

Charities responsible for the maintenance and repair of buildings and structures listed at grade I and II status are being invited to apply for the Heritage at Risk Fund by 28 June.

Maintenance that can be funded includes repair of damaged roofs, masonry and windows, and the erection of scaffolding to prevent structural collapse. Work must start before 31 October.

The grant comes as an Historic England survey of 733 heritage organisations has revealed that about four out of five of respondents have lost business in the short term. 

A survey by the National Lottery Heritage Fund also found that 82 per cent of respondents reported a high or moderate risk to their organisation’s long-term viability as a result of coronavirus.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “This emergency fund aims to generate new work for those professionals and small businesses most vulnerable within the heritage sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“It is vital that we keep the wheels of the sector turning in order to protect livelihoods and save our heritage, which enriches people’s lives and is a source of national and local pride.”

This is the second emergency fund from Historic England in response to the Covid-19 crisis, after the funder issued grants totalling £1.8m to 70 organisations to help them weather the crisis.

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