Heritage funding lifeline for Rotherham attractions

Rotherham-based attractions are 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.

Magna and Wentworth Woodhouse are two out of 445 organisations will share £103m to help restart vital repair and maintenance work on cherished heritage sites, to keep venues open and to save jobs and livelihoods.

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 £67m from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery.

The Magna Trust, the charity that operates Magna Science Adventure Centre at Templeborough, has been awarded £310,000.

Set in the former Templeborough steelworks, Magna is a family attraction with more than 100 hands-on exhibits. Millions of pounds have been invested in conference facilities at the centre.

The attraction only re-opened in July having been closed since March – missing out on the busy summer period, and unable to host high profile events. It closed again in September and is due to reopen for half term.

Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust Ltd has been awarded £468,300.

While the gardens have been open, the house has been closed since March, when lockdown came into force.

But the Preservation Trust which owns the Grade I listed Rotherham stately home is now able to welcome visitors back in safety.

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.”

Rotherham literacy charity, Grimm & Co, has secured £86,000 from the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund via Arts Council England.

Rotherham Theatres, closed since March, has been awarded £131,644 from the same fund.

Images: Magna / Wentworth