First published 12th October 2020, Diocese of Bristol website.
St. Andrew’s Church, Castle Combe is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the first round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
St Andrew’s have received the sum of £32,400 to allow them to open the church to visitors over the next six months and achieve “good to go” status. It will also mean they can enhance their digital heritage resources and obtain valuable visitor feedback for future planning.
Sally Constable, churchwarden of St. Andrew’s, said, “St Andrew’s Church Castle Combe is thrilled to receive this grant award. I’d like to thank the DCMS and the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Historic England for looking at our application and considering our plans to keep access to heritage open in our much loved and visited Wiltshire village and Grade 1 listed church.
“This beautiful Grade 1 Listed Church in the heart of Castle Combe, which has normally opened its doors to the thousands of visitors to the village, was forced to close in lockdown. Within the church are many features of historical importance, and in normal times seen by visitors and pilgrims to the church. “With this grant, we are now able to reopen safely by achieving a supervised one-way system around the church during the day, and enhancing and developing digital information of our heritage which can be downloaded so that visitors can add to their experience.”
This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arm’s length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.
433 organisations will receive a share of £67 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery. This includes famous heritage sites across the country, from Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Blyth Tall Ship to the Severn Valley Railway, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire to the Piecehall in Halifax. The funds will save sites that are a source of pride for communities across the country.
Twelve organisations, including English Heritage, Landmark Trust, Historic Royal Palaces and the Canal and River Trust, will receive £34 million from the Heritage Stimulus Fund to restart construction and maintenance on cherished heritage sites to preserve visitor attractions and protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors in the sector.
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.”