Vital Grant From Culture Recovery Fund

02 April 2021


02 April 2021


Funding from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund supports the SS Great Britain Trust to continue vital conservation and education work while closed to visitors.

The SS Great Britain Trust is extremely grateful for crucial funding from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, which is benefitting more than 2,700 recipients nationwide. The charitable trust in Bristol has received a grant of £440,000 to help the organisation recover and reopen.

The current pandemic has had a devastating impact on the Trust’s financial position. This funding helps to provide greater stability and means that we can welcome visitors back later this spring with an incredible visitor experience. It also enables the Trust to continue vital conservation work, delivering our inspiring education and community programmes that we know make such a huge difference. We are privileged to look after a unique part of our national heritage, one of the most important and innovative ships ever built and nationally important collections. This comes at a significant cost, and this funding, and the support from our members of the public has never been needed more.

Nerys Watts, Director of External Affairs for the SS Great Britain Trust, said:

“The Culture Recovery Fund support is a real lifeline and means we can continue conservation, community and STEM education programmes despite a massive shortfall in our normal revenue. Caring for Brunel’s 1843 ocean liner for the nation allows us to inspire future generations of engineers and entrepreneurs, and we know culture and heritage makes a huge difference to people’s lives in many ways. We are sincerely grateful for this support and our staff and volunteers can’t wait to welcome visitors back on board soon.”

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

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.”

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 re-open 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 £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund 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.

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Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where every one of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Find out more at

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon.

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