Ripon Museum Trust has received a grant of £69,350 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen from the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced on Friday 2 April.
This is the second time Ripon Museum Trust has been awarded money from the Cultural Recovery Fund, after an initial award was made in autumn 2020. The money will be used to reopen the Workhouse Museum, Prison & Police Museum and Courthouse Museum to visitors in a safe and enjoyable way, providing much needed social opportunities for families and groups of friends to enjoy the heritage on offer.
The grant will also help Ripon Museum Trust to develop digital learning content for schools and reconnect with tour groups, older learners and communities. This Cultural Recovery funding comes at an important time as visitor attractions and tourism destinations start to make the most of the relaxation of lockdown, staycation holidays and to start to earn much needed income to support their heritage assets.
Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The second round of awards made will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.
Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”
Helen Thornton, Director of Ripon Museum Trust said: “The Arts Council’s Cultural Recovery funding has been an absolute lifeline during a very challenging time. This grant puts us in a strong and positive position to reopen our museums again and welcome visitors back – which is what we love doing and what we are all about. It will be so wonderful having our doors open again on 17 May.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”
The funding awarded on Friday 2 April is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
Ripon Museum Trust is getting ready to reopen its museums, in line with the Government’s roadmap for recovery. The Workhouse Museum Gardens will open to visitors on Thursday 15 April and will be open Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 3pm. As well as enjoying the museum gardens, visitors can discover fascinating features of the museum with our ‘Inside Out’ Museum Trail, which is an ideal activity for families. Tickets cost £5 for those aged 16 and over; under 16s and those with annual passes can visit for free. To manage numbers and ensure social distancing, visitors should pre-book timed ticket slots online. Visit riponmuseums.co.uk for bookings.
As a thank you for supporting the museums, a £5 discount voucher will be given to visitors to spend in the shop when they visit Ripon Museums after reopening on Monday 17 May. Following the reopening, the museums will be open Tuesday to Sunday, plus selected Bank Holidays.