Samlesbury Hall receives lifeline grant from Govt Culture Recovery Fund

9 October 2020

 Samlesbury Hall 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.  

 445 organisations will share £103 million, including Samlesbury Hall, help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.  

Samlesbury Hall – Photo by Clare Robinson

 Samlesbury Hall has been awarded £388,000 to ensure that the Hall can cover its essential running costs, offer tours once again for the public, prepare for the future and be more resilient from threats related to coronavirus.  It is a life saving amount of money for the Hall. 

 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. 

 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.” 

 Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator, Historic Royal Palaces, said: 

  “There’s no truer way to experience the past than to walk in the footsteps of those who have lived it – that’s why preserving our built heritage is so important.  

  “At Historic Royal Palaces, we care for six nationally significant buildings, opening them to the public and preserving them for future generations. Sadly, the pandemic meant that we had to stop some of our critical conservation work. The grant we have received from the Culture Recovery Fund will enable to this work to resume – so we can give some of Britain’s most historic buildings the care and attention they deserve, while supporting the specialist craftspeople who are vital for the future of our national heritage.  We are enormously grateful to the Government for this support.” 

 Sharon Jones, Hall Director said: “I am absolutely thrilled that this will see the Hall through these shocking times and keep my fabulous team in jobs.  It will also look after the heritage of the Hall should there be any further lockdowns, and enable us to move forward and become more resilient in future years.  This really is a lifesaver.” 

 Built in 1325, Samlesbury Hall is Grade I Listed, and a vital part of the history and religion of Lancashire.  The Hall is a private charity owned by Samlesbury Hall Trust (526052) whose deed is to ensure that the Hall is kept open for members of the public to enjoy.  The Hall provides guided historic tours and interprets the history of the building and the people who lived there within the context of national events. The Hall is an important part of the visitor economy and encourages national and international visitors, providing access to history and heritage for all. In order to fulfil the Trust deed, the Hall operates a restaurant, a Wafflery, weddings and accommodation, all of which enable us to keep the Hall open completely free of charge for all to enjoy.  This funding will allow Samlesbury to resume their guided tours and enable visitors to benefit from the heritage on offer.  The Hall will also be able to open up rooms that have been closed as a result of Covid-19. 

The Hall is originally the home of St John Southworth, the last of the 40 Catholic Martyrs and is a vital part of Lancashire’s rich and bloody history. Additionally, three witches from Samlesbury were tried at Lancaster Assizes, linking the religious history with the Assizes, Hoghton Tower and Westminster Abbey. 

 Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive said:  

 “It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites. The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.” 

 Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said: 

  “It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial.  Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live.  All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.  

  “Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet.  But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.” 

 Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: 

 “This support for our nation’s heritage is fantastic news.  Over the last few months, our teams have been working hard to welcome visitors back safely to the great castles, stone circles, abbeys and historic houses in our care. This funding will help us invest to safeguard the historic fabric of these much-loved places, which everyone can learn from and enjoy.” 

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