Bath Preservation Trust is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund – to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID crisis has caused the most serious threat to the Trust’s existence since its foundation in 1934. The loss of income from the closure of the museums meant that the financial model under which the Trust had operated independently and successfully for many years was, at a stroke, removed.
The continuing crisis, combined with social distancing and the collapse of international tourism, mean that solutions must be found that are both longterm and transformational to enable the Trust to recover and survive into the future.
BPT’s Culture Recovery Grant of up to £825,400 will:
Underpin the funding of the Trust’s ongoing fixed costs;
Enable the small staff team to work with advisors to create a new, safe,public experience within the museums in keeping with the requirements ofthe “new normal” and responsive to new audiences; and
Allow the Trust to continue to use its expertise in support of the city of Bath through its vital planning and campaigning work.This work continued through lockdown and beyond with staff working online, and we are delighted that this activity has been recognised by shortlisting for an RTPI South West Award.
The Trust was also grateful to receive an earlier NHLF Emergency Fund grant in July which allowed BPT to re-open No 1 Royal Crescent for the summer under a new reduced model, and to trial other COVID-secure events.
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 the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England.
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.
Caroline Kay, CEO of Bath Preservation Trust, said:“We are greatly encouraged that this Recovery Grant recognises the value of heritage to the UK, and that the role BPT plays in the protection and promotion of a UNESCO World Heritage Site is so valued. The grant gives us time and money to invest in developing a new long-term future model which takes into account the new realities of the post-COVID world and embraces the priorities of the 21st Century including climate change and digital access. We are extremely grateful for this support.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP 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 forfuture generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”
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 bestloved 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.”
Bath Preservation Trust was set up in 1934 to safeguard the historic city of Bath. Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the only complete city in the UK afforded World Heritage Status. The purposes of the Trust are to encourage and
support the conservation, evolution and enhancement of Bath and its environs within a framework appropriate both to its historic setting and its sustainable future, and to provide educational resources, including museums, which focus on the architectural and historic importance of the city.
The Trust runs 4 accredited museums in the city: No 1 Royal Crescent; Herschel Museum of Astronomy; Beckford’s Tower and the Museum of Bath Architecture.
The Trust receives no regular statutory funding and has been supported by visitor income, grants, legacies, donations and around 1400 members who share a passion for the city and its environs.