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Second emergency fund launched to protect heritage

Words: Laura Edgar
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Historic England has launched a second emergency fund to support the heritage sector’s recovery from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The £3 million Heritage at Risk Response Fund will provide grants to those who look after some of England’s “most significant” historic sites.

It will go towards the cost of urgent maintenance, repairs and investigations, such as damaged roofs, to hire scaffolding and commission surveys. 

Grants of up to £25,000 will be offered to fix urgent problems at sites that are normally visited by the public, so they can reopen as soon as possible, in line with Covid-19 restrictions.

The fund has been established after Historic England conducted a survey of heritage organisations, which revealed that the impact of Covid-19 on the sector is “serious”. Loss or postponement of work was the most commonly reported effect. 

Those who have been the hardest hit are craft workers, such as stonemasons and glaziers, and architects and surveyors. The survey found that 78 per cent of these disciplines are facing the failure of their businesses, and without additional support they expect to stop trading by October 2020.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive at Historic England, said: “Informed by the findings of our survey, this emergency fund aims to generate new work for those professionals and small businesses most vulnerable within the heritage sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, at the same time protecting significant historic sites where our support is most needed. It is vital that we keep the wheels of the sector turning in order to protect livelihoods and save our heritage, which enriches people’s lives and is a source of national and local pride.”

Applicants are invited to apply for grants of up to £25,000 towards a maximum project size of £30,000 for urgent minor repairs, maintenance or development works that must be started before 31 October 2020. The deadline for expressions of interest is midnight on 28 June 2020. 

Successful applicants will be informed by 27 July 2020 and then invited to submit a full application by 31 August 2020.

More information about the fund and who can apply can be found on the Historic England website.

Read more:

Fund set up to help heritage sector through Covid-19

Emergency Covid-19 grants to help heritage projects unveiled

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