We are delighted to announce that we are to receive £157,400 from the second round of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund to support the Covid-safe reopening of the cathedral to visitors, including the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library Exhibition. 

    Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including Hereford Cathedral in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced last week.

    Hereford Cathedral, with architecture dating back to the eleventh century, world-class music and its famous Mappa Mundi world map, is a key destination in Herefordshire, and has suffered, together with many businesses, from the Covid-related closures and reduced number of visitors in the past year. Plans to reopen can now be accelerated in line with the government’s roadmap, and the grant will help equip staff and volunteers, prepare the Mappa Mundi Exhibition, Café and Shop for re-opening, and ensure a continuing Covid-safe environment for the large numbers expected to visit Herefordshire this summer.   

    Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

    This brings the Government's total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

    The second round of awards will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead. 

    Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, said:

    ‘Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

    ‘Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.’

    Chris Milton, Chief Operating Officer at the cathedral, said:

    ‘We are delighted to have received this grant at such a critical time. Welcoming back visitors to Hereford, to our stunning architecture and music, and re-opening the fascinating Mappa Mundi and Chained Library Exhibition with new exhibits are things we have been planning for a long time. This allows us to launch a Covid-safe visitor experience. The grant gives us the financial confidence to provide that visitor welcome in our shop, the Cathedral Café, and with our volunteers and staff as soon as the government’s roadmap allows.’

    Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

    ‘Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor attractions reopening, and I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing.’

    Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:

    ‘The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen in the months ahead.’

    The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure that the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England.

    Find out more about the #HereForCulture campaign by clicking here