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Cultural Recovery Funding now available

This is offering grants from £10k to £3m to support re-opening. It is not for capital repairs, though it can include minor repairs/maintenance etc. needed for re-opening (i.e. pigeon netting to make entry to the building safe following the build-up of pigeon guano over lockdown).

The fund is administered by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Church of England was involved in consultations about the structure of the scheme, and the guidance has a specific section on places of worship.

Please note that this grant has a very tight timeframe for applications; you can apply from 7 January and applications close on 26 January.

A list of eligible and ineligible costs can be found below:

Eligible costs

Through this programme, you can apply to cover costs associated with shortfalls in income during the period April-June 2021, whilst you are working towards restarting normal operations or business. This includes hiring staff and freelancers as you would normally, therefore supporting the wider ecosystem of the heritage sector.

In your application and Business Action Plan you will need to make the case that this shortfall is the result of reduced trading and reduced earned income. We would not expect this shortfall to be more than 25% of your usual annual turnover as this funding covers one quarter, April-June 2021.

This shortfall may be costs you incur as part of your operations and business, including:

  • staffing

  • overheads

  • marketing

  • heritage activities

  • maintenance of buildings and land, equipment and services

In addition to your ongoing costs, we acknowledge that there may be additional “one-off” costs associated with restarting your business. Costs can include:

  • rehiring or recruiting staff

  • contracting freelancers

  • purchasing or installing essential COVID-19 related equipment, and stabilising heritage that is at immediate risk, for example, scaffolding or urgent minor conservation work (up to a maximum of 20% of the amount applied for)

  • repaying or clearing COVID-19 related debt incurred since 1 October 2020


If you can demonstrate that you will have less than eight weeks reserves at the end of June you can include costs to build your reserves back up to cover a maximum of eight weeks turnover from 1 July 2021. Businesses, private owners, local authorities, universities and other public bodies cannot include these costs.

Ineligible costs

  • Costs that are covered by existing government grant funding, for example other COVID-19 support schemes, such as the Job Retention Scheme.

  • Any costs incurred before 31 March 2021 and operating costs beyond 30 June 2021.

  • Anything that contravenes Governments’ advice on COVID-19.

  • New projects unrelated to the reopening of businesses in a COVID-safe manner.

  • Costs already covered through other emergency support funding, for example through our Heritage Emergency Fund or Historic England’s COVID-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund and round one of the Cultural Recovery Fund.

  • Capital works, such as major repair projects.

  • Paid for lobbying, which means using grant funds to fund lobbying (via an external firm or in-house staff) in order to undertake activities intended to influence or attempt to influence Parliament, Government or political activity or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action.

  • Using grant funds to directly enable one part of government to challenge another on topics      unrelated to the agreed purpose of the grant.

  • Using grant funding to petition for additional funding.

  • Expenses such as for entertaining, specifically aimed at exerting undue influence to change      government policy.

  • Input VAT reclaimable by the grant recipient from HMRC.

  • Payments for activities of a party political or exclusively religious nature.

  • Any costs in excess of £3m across the two funding rounds.

  • Clearing significant historic debt incurred before 1 October 2020.

Costs period

  • The costs you can apply for should cover the period from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

Partnership funding

  • There is no partnership funding requirement for this programme

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