Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced that more than £5million of awards are being offered to 50 heritage and 41 individuals through The Heritage Recovery Fund to stabilise the sector and prevent the loss of important historical assets. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund on the Department for Communities’ behalf.
Minister Hargey said: “This funding is designed to stabilise heritage organisations and prevent the loss of many important historical assets and groups who help preserve and animate our history.
“Self-employed individuals working in the heritage sector are also being supported by this fund in recognition that many have been unable to work during the pandemic and to ensure that important skills are not lost. This includes tour guides, stonemasons and other skilled heritage professionals.”
Individuals will receive total funding of £195,000, representing average awards of £4,750 each including self-employed tour guides and other heritage specialists such as stonemasons, coppersmiths and conservators.
Grants from The Heritage Recovery Fund will help many venues, sites and attractions to adapt and safely re-open again once lockdown restrictions are eased. It will also save many heritage jobs and skills from being permanently lost.
Letters of offers have started to issue and organisations and individuals will use this funding to put their finances back on a stable footing.
Paul Mullan, Director, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund said:
“We are grateful to the Department for Communities for providing this funding and enabling us to help a wide range of organisations and individuals in Northern Ireland’s heritage sector recover from the current crisis.
“The risks to historic sites, attractions and essential heritage jobs and skills from a sudden and dramatic loss of income as a result of the pandemic, have put the heritage and visitor economy in crisis, and we hope this funding will play a vital role in their recovery.
“Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, creating economic prosperity and supporting personal wellbeing. All of these are going to be vitally important as we emerge from the current pandemic.”
This funding is part of the Department for Communities’ Covid-19 Culture, Languages, Arts and Heritage Support Programme.