The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government, thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
The 445 organisations, including The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, 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 amount received by the Trust is £246,500 and it will be used to introduce Covid safety measures to the Loughborough Bellfoundry and its onsite museum, including creating additional space for social distancing measures and one-way systems.
Established in 2016, the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust is responsible for the protection of the iconic Grade II* listed Loughborough Bellfoundry buildings, home to Britain’s last major working Bellfoundry and onsite bell museum, which showcases almost 160 years of bells and bellfounding.
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.
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.
12 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.
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has also been awarded a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund through Historic England. The AHF will use the funding to support charities and social enterprises occupying historic buildings to develop new business plans and strategies for organisations affected by the pandemic.
Andrew Wilby, Trustee of the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust said: “This funding is pivotal in allowing the reopening of our site for visitors over the coming months. We will be making a number of changes to the museum and bellfoundry visiting areas to ensure it is safe for the public.
“Because of the pandemic, we have had to close for some time, and this funding will aid us in our recovery so we can once again teach people about the history of bells and the wonderful art of bell making – an invaluable piece of British history and heritage.”