An £895,000 grant from the Culture Recovery Fund has been awarded to the Hollycombe Working Steam Museum to make sure they can reopen in 2021 for their 50 Anniversary year.
Changes will be made at the museum to make sure they can reopen again with both structural and operational changes to be made.
Hollycombe is among 445 other heritage associations receiving grants and joins railways like the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway and the South Tynedale Railway in all announcing major grants.
Volunteering groups from the local Highbury College as well as Army Cadets, Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh volunteers have all been affected by the closure of Hollycombe for 2020.
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.”
Robert Gambrill, Trustee of Hollycombe Working Steam Museum, said: “Determination is the driving force of our dedicated volunteers. This funding will allow them to overcome the challenges that covid-19 brings to a museum like ours. I would like to thank the team responsible for delivering a comprehensive grant programme which is truly transformational. The financial assistance offers Hollycombe the chance to weather the storm and to continue to flourish.”
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.”
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