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
Culture creates jobs, supports livelihoods, and brings joy to everyone. The UK leads the world in the creative industries and we can all feel pride in that. Now, in these challenging times, it’s our turn to show our support for culture. With an unprecedented investment through the £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund, the government is #HereForCulture so it can weather the storm of coronavirus and come back stronger.
#HereForCulture is a movement that unites the public, government and cultural organisations in support of our fantastic cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums, galleries and heritage.
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.”
The Architectural Heritage Fund
Awards of up to £50,000 each will enable the funded organisations to redevelop paths to financial sustainability through diversified income models, new community consultation strategies and through the engagement of specialist advice and services.
Forty-four organisations have received a grant, including us and we have been awarded £22,734. With our Culture Recovery Grant award, the Trust aims to explore new uses for buildings on the site which could support new opportunities for income-generation and community engagement. This will secure the future whilst ensuring that the site and its heritage is understood, shared, and protected.
Matthew Mckeague, CEO, Architectural Heritage Fund, said:
“The COVID-19 crisis has brought unparalleled uncertainty to the heritage sector, with organisations that rely on visitor income or community group usage shuttered for most of the past year. However, these grants will support organisations in becoming more resilient as they emerge from the crisis.
“For forty-five years, the Architectural Heritage Fund has been committed to supporting communities to develop sustainable new uses for their much-loved historic buildings. We are pleased to have been able to offer this additional support at a time of extraordinary need and are very grateful to DCMS for funding these vital grants.”
Historic England Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund
Grants of up to £25,000 are being allocated to cherished heritage sites, like St. Marys, across the country to cover urgently needed maintenance and repairs. This vital funding comes from a part of the Culture Recovery Fund called the Heritage Stimulus Fund and is administered on behalf of the government by Historic England.
As well as rescuing precious heritage buildings in need, the injection of cash will protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors working in the sector.
We have been awarded £22,389 for urgent repairs to the stone chimney stack of our Grade II* Listed Tudor Barn, which is also on Historic England’s Buildings at Risk Register. The overall condition of the Tudor Barn continues to slowly decline, however of very immediate concern was the condition of the large stone chimney stack. The sandstone blocks are particularly soft and crumbling due to water ingress and frost damage, stonework is becoming loose and the conservation work that this grant will fund will enable us to stabilise and repair the chimney.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive said:
“Historic places across the country are being supported by the Government’s grants awarded under the Culture Recovery Fund. This funding is a lifeline which is kick-starting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of COVID-19.
“It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning. Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future.”
National Lottery Heritage 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.
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.”
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.”