Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust receives £990k lifeline grant from Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

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Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust has been awarded £990,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced.

Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

The grant awarded to RPMT is a vote of confidence in the new Trust which took over from Brighton & Hove City Council on 1 October 2020. It is sign of the value of RPMT to the cultural and visitor economy of Brighton & Hove and its importance to the museums sector as a whole as lead partner of the South East Museums Development Programme.

The grant supports the recovery programme of the organisation including the re-opening of the historic Royal Palace, the Royal Pavilion. Brighton Museum & Art Gallery reopens on Saturday 17 October 2020 with a much-anticipated photographic show Rock ‘n’ Roll with me: Bowie/MacCormack 1973-76 featuring candid images of David Bowie by his childhood friend.

Preston Manor reopened in September offering a new children’s trail to enjoy in the elegant surroundings of an Edwardian manor house.

The funding will also help the venues with their Covid-safe measures such as pre-booked timeslots, one-way systems, signage, PPE, physical protection, track and trace, staggered start and finish times for staff, enhanced cleaning programmes and adopting ‘We’re Good to Go’ consumer mark.

The grant will enable the Trust to plan programmes and promotions to attract local and regional visitors to enjoy the museums while the traditional tourist market remains limited during this time.

It will also support the museums growing digital presence which has been significantly enhanced through social media channels, blogs, exhibition micro sites and its online shop.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Michael Bedingfield, Chair of the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust said: “This is wonderful news from Arts Council England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Culture Recovery Fund is crucial to the Royal Pavilion and Museums, to provide continuity of an amazing visitor experience with added certainly during this pandemic.

“We were able to reopen the Royal Pavilion and Preston Manor in the summer. This week Brighton Museum and Art Gallery open with the launch of David Bowie, Rock’n’roll with Me, a stunning exhibition including previously unseen photographs.

“With today’s news of our Culture Recovery Fund award, we will be able to continue planning exhibitions of this quality and enabling our cultural assets to continue to thrive in our city.”


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