Beamish Museum to receive £585,000 from second round of Government's Culture Recovery Fund

April 2nd 2021

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North is delighted to have been awarded £585,000 from the government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help the museum recover and reopen following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than £300million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including Beamish, in the latest round of support from the CRF, the Culture Secretary announced today (2nd April 2021).

The aim of the CRF grants programme is to support cultural organisations as they transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model, and this grant marks an important step in Beamish’s road to recovery. The funding will support the museum’s operations over the 1st April to 30th June 2021 period.

Beamish is a charity, with 95 per cent of its income from visitors, and the museum’s closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to have a devastating effect.

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.”

Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s Deputy Director, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be successful in the Culture Recovery Fund programme round 2 with an award of £585,000. This next round of funding is critical to the museum’s recovery and planning for the future as we move into reopening our outdoor areas from the 12th April.

“We are hugely grateful for the support, as being able to reopen our doors once again to visitors does not automatically equal recovery. It will take some time to build back up to pre-pandemic visitor levels, and the funding will be essential in supporting us through this initial reopening period, and will help to ensure that the museum site, exhibits and collections are being cared for enabling a sustainable future for Beamish.

“Receiving news of the award just a week before we reopen our site once more couldn’t have come at a better time for Beamish, and we are very excited to be welcoming visitors back again and being able to move forward.”

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 reopen 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 today is from a £400million pot which was held back last year to ensure the CRF 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.

Beamish plans to reopen its outdoor areas from 12th April, under Step 2 of the government’s COVID-19 roadmap.

The open air museum will be able to reopen its grounds only under Step 2, subject to the government timeline for the easing of lockdown restrictions. Visitors will be able to take a stroll around the museum grounds and enjoy takeaway food and drink. All visitors must pre-book a timeslot and the museum will give further updates very soon, including timeslot booking information, as it continues to monitor government guidance. Under Step 2 rules, Beamish isn’t yet able to open its indoor attractions and exhibits and run transport (excluding the wheelchair accessible bus, operating on an on-call basis).

During lockdown, the museum has been keeping in touch with visitors, including with its Beamish from Home activities, afternoon tea home deliveries and online shop.

For more information about visiting Beamish see