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Gary Knight
Gary Knight
Church News

Huge income slump for St Paul's and Durham Cathedral boosted by coronavirus funding round

by Press Association

St Paul’s Cathedral and Durham Cathedral are to benefit from the government's latest round of coronavirus funding.

St Paul’s, which usually relies on visitors for 90% of its annual income, will be given £2,125,000, while Durham Cathedral will receive £1,935,000.

Reverend Canon Michael Hampel is Vice-Dean of Durham Cathedral he spoke to Premier about the huge impact the pandemic has had on the cathedral's finances:

"There was a particular day in the late summer where our income was only 1.5 percent of what it had been on that day a year ago."

Cultural organisations and venues will also benefit such as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and The Lowry in Salford.

London’s Academy Music Group, the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and the London Venue Group, which is headed up by Mumford & Sons star Ben Lovett, will all receive emergency funding.

More than £18 million will be distributed to the eight bodies as part of a second round of grants between £1 million and £3 million.

It is the latest tranche of money to be distributed from the Government’s £1.57 billion culture recovery fund.

Soho venue Ronnie Scott’s will receive £1,272,631 to explore streamed performance opportunities for emerging and established British musicians.

The Lowry, a theatre and gallery complex, will receive £3,000,000 to cover ongoing costs incurred during the pandemic.

London Venue Group is given £2,358,902 to maintain its venues, which include Omeara, The Social and Lafayette, during closure and explore streaming options.

The money is being distributed by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

More than £9 million has been allocated by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England on behalf of DCMS.

In addition, £5 million will go to construction and maintenance projects that have been paused due to the pandemic.

Blenheim Palace, the Oxfordshire birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, will receive £1,896,000 for extensive repairs and updates to exhibition areas for visitors when it is safe to reopen.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities.

“From St Paul’s and Ronnie Scott’s to The Lowry and Durham Cathedral, we’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it can bounce back strongly.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, chairman of Arts Council England, said: “Culture makes a huge and increasing contribution to our national life, bringing communities together, fuelling our creative industries and representing our country on the world stage.

“These grants add to those announced last month and will put these organisations in a better position to bounce back and help their communities recover from this crisis.

“The Arts Council is grateful to the Government for the special support being made available to the arts and culture through the culture recovery fund and we’re proud to support all the organisations receiving awards today.”

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “Historic places across the country, from Durham Cathedral embodying more than a thousand years of history to the Crystal Palace dinosaurs, much-loved by children and grown-ups alike, are being supported by the Government’s latest round of grants awarded under the culture recovery fund.

“This funding is a lifeline which is kickstarting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of Covid-19. It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help to keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning.

“Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future.”

The Government said 70% of latest funding had been awarded outside London.

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