Exeter Cathedral is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a crucial financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
The 445 heritage organisations will share £103 million, to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector. The Government’s 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.”
Exeter Cathedral’s £740,000 grant will be used to stabilise finances through the winter months, enabling recovery from a significant loss of income earlier this year due to lockdown. However, as the Cathedral’s Director of Development, Jill Taylor explains, over half of the award will be invested in adapting to the new landscape of coronavirus restrictions, making Exeter Cathedral better equipped to meet the needs of the community in the future:
“We have been looking at all the things we can do to improve and adapt for 2021. Our goal is to be able to better engage the community of Devon through this difficult period, while also being able to support ourselves financially. This generous grant from the Culture Recovery Fund enables us to do that.”
This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arms 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.
For The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Exeter, the grant comes as an extremely welcome addition to a range of support offered to the Cathedral in recent months:
“Because of the necessary coronavirus lockdown, we have been facing a significant hole in our funding this year and sadly had to take action to reduce our expenditure in a number of ways. However, thanks to this grant from the Culture Recovery Fund, along with other forms of government support, grants from trusts, and donations from individuals, we can now stabilise our finances for this year, and face the challenges of next year with more confidence. We shall always be grateful to those who have recognised the importance of preserving Exeter’s 900-year-old Cathedral, and have stepped in to offer help when it is most needed.”