£1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions

Announcement, News, press release, Uncategorized

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Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries will receive a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help weather the impact of coronavirus, the government announced today.

  • Future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will be protected with emergency grants and loans
  • Funding will also be provided to restart construction work at cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic

Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans.

The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic. It will help them stay afloat while their doors are closed. Funding to restart paused projects will also help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.

Many of Britain’s cultural and heritage institutions have already received unprecedented financial assistance to see them through the pandemic including loans, business rate holidays and participation in the coronavirus job retention scheme. More than 350,000 people in the recreation and leisure sector have been furloughed since the pandemic began.

This new package will be available across the country and ensure the future of these multi billion-pound industries are secured.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

From iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerising exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the UK’s cultural industry is the beating heart of this country.

This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.

Oliver Dowden Culture Secretary said

Our arts and culture are the soul of our nation. They make our country great and are the lynchpin of our world-beating and fast growing creative industries.

I understand the grave challenges the arts face and we must protect and preserve all we can for future generations. Today we are announcing a huge support package of immediate funding to tackle the funding crisis they face. I said we would not let the arts down, and this massive investment shows our level of commitment.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

Our world-renowned galleries, museums, heritage sites, music venues and independent cinemas are not only critical to keeping our economy thriving, employing more than 700,000 people, they’re the lifeblood of British culture.

That’s why we’re giving them the vital cash they need to safeguard their survival, helping to protect jobs and ensuring that they can continue to provide the sights and sounds that Britain is famous for.

The package announced today includes funding for national cultural institutions in England and investment in cultural and heritage sites to restart construction work paused as a result of the pandemic. This will be a big step forward to help rebuild our cultural infrastructure. This unprecedented package includes:

  • £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants.
  • £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
  • £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).

Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert independent figures from the sector including the Arts Council England and other specialist bodies such as Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

Repayable finance will be issued on generous terms tailored for cultural institutions to ensure they are affordable. Further details will be set out when the scheme opens for applications in the coming weeks.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said:

Covid-19 has hit all sectors of our economy hard, including our heritage. The historic places that help define our country are at risk of being lost forever. This emergency funding package from the Government, including £50m for heritage put at risk during the pandemic, will be a lifeline for our sector, kickstarting repair works at our historic sites which matter most to local communities. It also helps the organisations which look after so many of our precious historic sites, and protects livelihoods of skilled craft workers and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. It will help to secure a sustainable future for the sector and those working in it, often with years of irreplaceable experience.”

World Heritage UK wins National Lottery support

Announcement, Awards, communications, Fundraising, Jobs, News, Opportunities, press release, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage UK

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

World Heritage UK has received a National Lottery grant of £100,000 for its ‘Unlocking the Potential’ project. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the funding provides essential support to achieve World Heritage UK’s Vision, where ‘the UK will have a coherent approach to World Heritage Sites, which will be better known, understood, and supported through sustainable funding so they can provide inspiration, learning and enjoyment for society’.

The UK has 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which collectively tell our island story. They include Neolithic monuments, palaces, cathedrals, castles, entire cities, stunning natural coastline and pioneering industrial heritage. Individually they can be a challenge to manage, but as an outstanding collection World Heritage UK works to raise their profile, advocate for support and resource, promote their values and facilitate networking, training and sharing of good practice. Grant funding allows World Heritage UK to become more sustainable, strengthening the organisation with costs of new staff, professional guidance for improved governance, strategy and business development, fundraising, marketing, communication and training.

Tony Crouch giving talkWorld Heritage UK Chairman Tony Crouch said, “The UK is a world leader in terms of heritage management and our UNESCO World Heritage Sites need and deserve a strong body to help protect, promote and interpret our outstanding collection. World Heritage UK, with the valuable assistance of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, can step up and fully fulfil that role.”

Vanessa Harbar, Head of National Lottery Heritage Fund West Midlands, said “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will help strengthen World Heritage UK and ensure that the county’s rich and fascinating heritage is better managed, protected and shared with local people and visitors.”

About World Heritage UK

cropped-newlogobeatnick-test.png     World Heritage UK (www.worldheritageuk.org) is a charitable organisation set up in 2015 to undertake networking, advocacy and promotion for the UK’s 31 outstanding World Heritage Sites, and the Tentative List Sites progressing towards UNESCO World Heritage Site status.  World Heritage UK evolved out of the Local Authority World Heritage Forum , which was established as a Local Government Association special interest group in 1995, and which did a great deal of positive action to support the UK’s sites.

World Heritage UK is the only organisation exclusively focused on World Heritage in the UK, and the only one led by the World Heritage Sites themselves, reflecting a community-driven approach that has proven effective at many sites and which is favoured by UNESCO.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

National Lottery Heritage Fund logoUsing money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund  

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Tony Crouch, World Heritage UK Chair, at  tony.crouch@worldheritageuk.org or call 07875 488803 or  Chris Mahon, World Heritage UK Development Director at chris.mahon@worldheritageuk.org

UK withdrawal from UNESCO – World Heritage UK press statement

Announcement, News, press release, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Following newspaper reports concerning the UK’s continued membership of UNESCO, World Heritage UK are pleased to note the following reported clarification statement from the Department for International Development: “There has been no change to our funding commitment to Unesco. The UK is working closely with Unesco and other member states to ensure it makes crucial reforms to deliver the best results and value for taxpayers’ money.” (13 November 2018).   World Heritage UK understands that scrutiny of bodies such as UNESCO is a legitimate political duty, but we also have the utmost confidence that the economic, environmental and social benefit delivered by the UK’s 31 World Heritage Sites can be proven to withstand any such scrutiny. The UK is a world leader in terms of heritage management and the benefit that we gain from, and contribute to, delivery of the UNESCO Convention is substantial. The whole ethos of the Convention is one of global co-operation which is essential to tackle challenges to our unique cultural and natural heritage. Plastic in our oceans and international tourism pressures are examples of issues that nations cannot practically resolve alone.