Cultural Recovery Funding awarded to University of Cambridge cultural and heritage institutions

Cultural Recovery Funding awarded to University of Cambridge cultural and heritage institutions

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Cultural institutions across the University will receive funding to help welcome back visitors and return to normal operating models in the months ahead by the UK government's Cultural Recovery Fund.

Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

The University of Cambridge is delighted to announce that cultural institutions across the University have been awarded funding by Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to renew the University's cultural offer to the City of Cambridge, the East of England, and beyond. The funding is part of the second round of the UK government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, including the University of Cambridge, to help the culture and heritage sectors reopen and recover. 

Funding will enable a programme of activities at the Botanic Garden, Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettle’s Yard, West Road Concert Hall and across the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) that will facilitate a transition to full, viable operation, rebuilding and diversifying audiences in person and online, and piloting new approaches more suited to the post-COVID landscape. The Museums and Botanic Garden will open up as quickly and safely as possible after lockdown lifts, offering COVID-secure learning, engagement and inclusion activities for audiences onsite and online.

Outdoor spaces will be used in new ways to provide COVID-secure programming for a variety of events, including outdoor plays put on by the ADC Theatre. The grant will allow both West Road Concert Hall and the ADC Theatre to open up Cambridge’s cultural offer to as wide an audience as possible, despite any limitations COVID may place on in-person capacity.

The funding will allow the University of Cambridge Museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle’s Yard, to offer remote learning opportunities to schools across the region. The funding will allow Cambridge University Botanic Garden to enhance its landscape, visitor experience, and living plant collections as we transition to full opening, to further engage digitally with new-found friends and visitors, locally, regionally and nationally, and to encourage Cambridge residents to enjoy the beautiful green space that we offer in the centre of the city.

Luke Syson, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, said:

“This is fantastic news for the Fitzwilliam Museum, our colleagues across UCM and indeed our cultural partners across the city. We are busy preparing to reopen when it is safe to do so, but the Cultural Recovery Fund will enable and resource us to do that with flair and imagination so we can welcome our visitors, whether they are in person or online.”

Beverley Glover, Director of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, commented:

“Cambridge University Botanic Garden is delighted to receive support from the NHLF Heritage Recovery Fund. The past year has shown how important our garden is for the health and well-being of the City of Cambridge. This grant will now allow us to confidently transition to full opening, and support new ways to engage our friends and visitors, through our science, learning and community programmes, and through our heritage landscape.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:

“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

These grants are part of a £400 million pot that 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 Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.


For more information please contact: 

Emma Griffiths

Head of Development — Trusts and Foundations

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Cambridge’s collections have multiple lives, embracing public and private histories, personal and scientific interest and the past and the present.