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Weston Park to receive £96,000 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Economics
Weston Park historic country house

Weston Park on the Shropshire \ South Staffordshire border has received a grant of £96,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including Weston Park in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The Weston Park Foundation was founded in 1986 with support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund after the Earl of Bradford gifted the House, Park and Gardens to the nation in lieu of tax. The internationally important art collection, Grade 1 listed mansion house and Grade 2* registered Capability Brown Landscape are maintained by the charity.

Weston Park in Shropshire

The diverse hospitality business, which operates as an events venue, the House as a private hire venue, visitor attraction, holiday cottages and restaurant destination’ the estate has faced huge losses due to the pandemic.

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.

Weston Park Chefs & Dome

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.”

Colin Sweeney, CEO of the Weston Park Foundation says “We are deeply grateful to Arts Council England for this award. The last 12 months have been incredibly challenging for the charity and the team. As a not for profit organisation we have been unable to generate the funds to support the work of the Foundation which maintains all of Weston’s heritage assets. With our businesses having being closed for the last five months the award is a lifeline to us on our road to recovery in 2021. I would also like to thank my team, the local community and the incredible support we have received from our local authority, South Staffordshire District Council.”

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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Weston Park historic country house

Weston Park

Shifnal, Shropshire, TF11 8LE