Alton Castle to receive £52,900 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

• Alton Castle, part of the Kenelm Youth Trust, Archdiocese of Birmingham, is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
• This award will enable us to be ready to reopen after extended lockdowns

Alton Castle in the Staffordshire Moorlands has received a grant of £52,900 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

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

Alton Castle offers a unique blend of outdoor adventurous activities and inspiring retreat experiences that promote personal, social and spiritual development. Young people from schools and youth groups across the West Midlands and beyond visit for day programmes and residential trips that encourage them to develop new skills and grow in their relationships and resilience, all animated by an enthusiastic team of gap year volunteers.

The award from the Culture Recovery Fund will help the Kenelm Youth Trust who run Alton Castle to continue bringing history to life by supporting them as they respond to the challenges of reopening in a COVID secure way. As well as ensuring the completion of some already planned refurbishments to the residential accommodation, they are also able to develop resources for more casual visitors and so share this unique heritage with a wider audience.

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.

The second round of awards 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."

Sandra Satchell, CEO of the Kenelm Youth Trust who run Alton Castle, said:

“We’re just delighted to receive funds in this second round as it will help us bridge the gap until we are able to be fully open once more!”

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, said:

“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 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.

October 2020: Alton Castle awarded £118,000

Photo courtesy of Tom Machin