Penshurst Place wins essential support
Penshurst Place and Gardens receives grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund
- Penshurst Place and Gardens in the Weald of Kent is among almost 450 heritage organisations in England that have been awarded cash from the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage
- Grants of up to £1 million will deliver support for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund
- First major tranche of funding from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
Penshurst Place and Gardens, a family-owned historic house and garden in the Weald of Kent is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
445 organisations will share £103 million,to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.
Penshurst Place and Gardens have been awarded just over £107,000 which will be spent on much needed infrastructure improvements in the Garden including a new irrigation system, a new digital interpretation of the House and Gardens, outdoor wedding equipment and improvements to the CRM system.
General Manager Ben Thomas says “Like many other businesses, we have not been immune to the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on all facets of our operations. This funding has provided a welcome opportunity for us to safeguard the House, Gardens and wider estate for future generations to continue to enjoy. We are grateful to the Department of Culture Media and Sport for this vital funding and are looking forward to getting started with the new projects it has enabled us to work on”.
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 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. As an awardee, Penshurst Place sits among many other famous heritage sites across the country who also received funding, including Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire, Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Blyth Tall Ship, The Kent and East Sussex Railway, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire to the Piecehall in Halifax. The funds will help 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.
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.”
Ben Thomas, General Manager at Penshurst Place, said:
Penshurst Place is a truly special place. It has been cared for by the Sidney family since 1552 and remains in their hands today. Supported by a small and dedicated team of staff, the historic house, gardens and wider parkland have a legacy spanning the literary, horticultural and architectural worlds.
The wider 2,500 acres estate continues to support tenant farmers and a variety of sites of ecological importance, whilst the myriad of public footpaths and cycle paths provide welcome green space to all who wish to make use of them.
It is of the upmost importance to preserve heritage sites wherever possible, the history, the people and the love that has gone into Penshurst Place throughout the centuries is priceless, and we are thrilled to have been awarded the funding to ensure this legacy continues.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive said:
“It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites. The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”
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.”
Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said:
“This support for our nation’s heritage is fantastic news. Over the last few months, our teams have been working hard to welcome visitors back safely to the great castles, stone circles, abbeys and historic houses in our care. This funding will help us invest to safeguard the historic fabric of these much-loved places, which everyone can learn from and enjoy.”
Saving Our Heritage
The Government's £1.57 billion stimulus fund for the culture industry is saving heritage sites from catastophe. We've written a blog article to reflect its importance.