Over the last 40 years Middleton Hall Trust has developed from a team of volunteers working tirelessly to save a locally significant heritage site to an organisation now looking to take an active role in working with the local community and national organisations to achieve our goal of becoming a premier heritage attraction in Warwickshire, by being able to provide a fulfilling and immersive day out for new and returning visitors whilst continuing to care for our built and natural heritage.
We have made great strides towards our goal recently and we couldn’t have achieved what we have in the last 2 years without assistance and ongoing, project specific, support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund and North Warwickshire Borough Council. Grant funds from all of these organisations have helped us to become more resilient and able to approach the challenges that come with working towards our goal.
In November 2019 we completed the development of our Master-plan, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund. We were expecting to be in a position to push ahead this year but in light of the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic we have, like the rest of the world, had to adapt and change. We are very grateful to have received continuing support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund Emergency Grant and the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
Culture Recovery Fund
Middleton Hall & Gardens is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
Middleton Hall & Gardens has been awarded just over £90,000. Although we succeeded in safely re-opening in mid-June our income this year has been significantly curtailed so this grant will ensure that our charity survives through the coming winter. We will be able to retain our small but skilled staff team and look after our site, with safety measures enabling our fabulous team of volunteers to carry on their vital support. We will be able to open for some special, Covid-secure, events through the winter period and will be improving our digital content, so although people might not be able to visit in person, we will be making more of our history and our nature available online.
This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.
433 organisations will receive a share of £67 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery. This includes famous heritage sites across the country, from Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Blyth Tall Ship to the Severn Valley Railway, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire to the Piecehall in Halifax. The funds will save sites that are a source of pride for communities across the country.
12 organisations, including English Heritage, Landmark Trust, Historic Royal Palaces and the Canal and River Trust, will receive £34 million from the Heritage Stimulus Fund to restart construction and maintenance on cherished heritage sites to preserve visitor attractions and protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors in the sector.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”
Patricia Collins, Chair of Middleton Hall & Gardens, said:
“Without this support from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund we could have been looking at a bleak future. Our historic buildings and Site of Special Scientific Interest was saved from ruin 40 years ago by an intrepid group of volunteers and it is truly heart-warming to know that all our hard work will now survive this current crisis. Our community of volunteers and visitors have come to appreciate more than ever over the last 6 months our small piece of North Warwickshire countryside. The feeling of wellbeing gained from being able to experience our historic site with its tranquil outdoor spaces can never be underestimated. Everyone involved here is so very grateful to receive this support.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said:
“It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial. Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live. All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.
“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet. But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”