One of the most valuable heritage sites in Northumberland has been given a crucial lifeline thanks to a major Government scheme.
Northumberland Archives, which are based at Woodhorn Museum in Ashington have been awarded £48,100 after successfully applying to the Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage, set up to help the country’s cultural gems survive the coronavirus pandemic.
The CRF is funded by the Government and delivered by heritage experts - the Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund - to support organisations in England across the heritage ecosystem that are local and national treasures but have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic.
On Friday, it was announced that more than £67m is being shared out among of 433 successful applicants from across England to help with key repair and maintenance work, and help sites operate and recover.
A raft of famous sites across the country have been awarded funding including historical areas, buildings, monuments, collections, museums, archives and places of worship.
The Conservative representative for Wansbeck at the 2019 General Election, Jack Gebhard, said:
“This is incredibly welcome support for the county’s arts and culture offering. This is an area that is very important for all of Northumberland and helps to create jobs, encourage tourists to come and bring investment.
“Preserving and sharing the heritage of the county and the region is vitally important so I’m glad the government is recognizing this by backing the museum with cash which will help it weather the covid storm.
“I did research for part of my Masters thesis at the Northumberland Archives in Woodhorn so am more than aware of their value to academics as well as others.
“Not only can we learn so much and gain so much insight from our heritage, but it also provides jobs and a boost for the local economy in many ways. As we get through this unprecedented pandemic, places Woodhorn and the tremendous work done there can undoubtedly play a part in our recovery.”
The package of support is the first round of funding from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund. Today has also seen a dozen organisations, including English Heritage, the National Trust and the Canal and River Trust share £34 million from the Heritage Stimulus Fund to preserve visitor attractions.
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. I’m so pleased that we have been able to help Northumberland Archives.”
Elsewhere in the county the Aln Valley Railway Trust, Blyth Tall Ship and the Haltwhistle Film Project will benefit from the fund.