Beamish receives support from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

October 12th 2020

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North has been awarded £970,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help culture sector organisations face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

The open air museum, in County Durham, is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on Beamish, which receives 95 per cent of its income from visitors. The museum, which is in its 50th anniversary year, preserves the region’s history, giving generations of visitors a chance to experience life in the 1820s, 1900s, 1940s and 1950s. Beamish had to close for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic and has reopened with significantly reduced visitor numbers. The funding will help to protect the museum during these increasingly challenging times.

Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s Deputy Director, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the Beamish Museum bid to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, administered by Arts Council England, has been successful. This is such fantastic news, not just for the museum but for the wider North East of England.

“This much-needed injection of funding will help to protect Beamish, an important cultural and regional asset, in these increasingly challenging times. The museum has such a key role to play in the North East of England, in terms of its social, cultural and economic impact.

“This funding is crucial in enabling us to continue to tell the story of everyday working life in the North East for generations to come, alongside helping to drive the region’s tourism economy. The team at Beamish is hugely grateful for this support, and we’re looking forward to continuing to deliver a brilliant and engaging visitor experience for many years to come.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Beamish has COVID-19 Secure measures in place across the museum, including pre-booked timeslots for all visitors, and additional health and hygiene measures. Click here to find out more about visiting Beamish.