In June 2020, Ripon Museum Trust was fortunate to receive a Heritage Emergency Fund grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The projects this grant supported have been completed successfully at the end of October 2020. The grant provided vital support through the most challenging of times during Lockdown #1 and then as restrictions relaxed and we were able to re-open. We were able to support staffing, overheads, essential conservation and repair works and implement Covid-19 safety measures to enable us to welcome visitors again.
The grant has been an absolutely vital lifeline for Ripon Museum Trust’s survival over the Summer and into Autumn, enabling us to re-open and start to earn (albeit reduced) admission income through our usually busy summer season until we closed again for Lockdown #2 in early November. Being able to open for this period has strengthened our resilience going forwards.
The grant supported a great deal of the safety measures we needed to put in place to offer a safe and enjoyable experience to visitors – cleaning, hand sanitiser, one-way systems, signage, relocation of our shop, perspex on our front desks, a new online booking system and so on. The grant has also protected our Grade 2 listed heritage assets through essential conservation repair work including: historic gutters at the Prison and Police Museum, roof leak repairs above the Workhouse Kitchen and Guardian’s Room galleries, conservation work to historic window frames at the Workhouse Main Block (which were letting in water), works related to our electrical systems in Main Block and essential tree surgery in the Victorian Kitchen Garden. Without this grant to prop up our lost maintenance budgets these issues would have threatened our heritage’s condition.
A huge thank you to National Lottery players and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. And thanks too to all Ripon Museum Trust trustees, staff and volunteers who worked so hard under very challenging circumstances to complete these projects successfully and offer such a warm welcome to our visitors. Hopefully we can re-open soon and carry on the good work!