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Combermere Abbey Receives £21k Grant From Culture Recovery Fund

Economics
A Tree Planting At Combermere Abbey

Local country estate Combermere Abbey in Whitchurch is set to receive a second financial boost from the Government, as part of the ongoing £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund that it received in October last year too. More than 2,700 organisations were selected to receive the second grant.

Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, including Combermere Abbey, in latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary has announced.

The abbey has received £21K which will be used towards improving signage and pathways around the dedicated woodland walks and gardens, as well as assisting with the upcoming re-opening of the estate.

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. This brings the Government’s total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

Sarah Callander Beckett, owner of Combermere Abbey said: “This money is such a lifeline for us after so many months closed due to the pandemic. We are excited to open back up and welcome back guests and this grant from the Culture Recovery Fund will be instrumental in this. Part of the money will go towards improving signage across the estate and gardens, enabling us to open the popular woodland walk with bluebells for an extended period this year. We are so grateful to have been considered again.”

Ben Cowell, Director General of Historic Houses Association adds: “We are thrilled that so many Historic Houses member properties have been awarded grants through the Culture Recovery Fund. Houses like Combermere Abbey play vital roles in their local areas – whether as employers, as destinations to visit, as settings for weddings and other events, or as important historical landmarks. The support from the Culture Recovery Fund means that places like these, facing some of the worst trading conditions for more than 70 years, once again have a viable future.”

The second round of awards made 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.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing.”

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, added: “The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen in the months ahead.”

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 the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England.

The first instalment of the grant that Combermere Abbey received was used on upgrading to superfast broadband, and to create a promotional film on the restoration of the abbey.

Combermere Abbey is currently welcoming guests in its 2 B&B rooms within the North Wing, as well as in the 10 self-catering, dog-friendly converted cottages on the estate. For more information on the abbey, and to follow the story of how the grant will be used, you can find Combermere Abbey on social media via the links below:

Combermere Abbey spring daffodils

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Combermere Abbey, Shropshire
Not free for members

Combermere Abbey

Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 4AJ