Bath Abbey awarded £534,000 in Culture Recovery Funding

  • Projects to revive heritage sites, churches and cathedrals boosted with £13.5 million in grants including Bath Abbey
  • Awards made as applications being processed for a further £400 million in lifeline grants and loans to support cultural venues into the summer.

Bath Abbey’s Footprint project to preserve our beautiful church and open it up in new ways – to be enjoyed in its full glory by future generations – has been awarded a slice of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Funding announced on 19 February.

The Footprint project, delayed due to the Covid pandemic, has received a Capital Kickstart Fund award of £534,000. This is one of the latest grants, awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and builds on over £1 billion awarded to a huge range of cultural and heritage organisations from the Culture Recovery Fund last year.

Ambitious projects at 22 heritage organisations, churches and cathedrals including Bath Abbey will benefit from £13.5 million in targeted grants allocated by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restart planned work that now face delays or increased costs.

The funding will be used to support the additional costs the Abbey’s Footprint project has faced due to the impact of Covid-19.

Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary, said: “From restoring Georgian lidos and Roman baths to saving local screens and synagogues, our Culture Recovery Fund is helping to save the places people can’t wait to get back to, when it is safe to do so. “All over the country, this funding is protecting the venues that have shaped our history and make us proud of our communities, whilst safeguarding the livelihoods of the people that work in them.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “These are all ongoing major refurbishment and restoration projects, funded by us, which have been threatened by the pandemic. From the oldest surviving outdoor swimming baths to a Victorian pier, and from a much-loved park to an historic abbey, these are all places that will enrich hundreds of lives when they reopen. We are delighted this extra funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will ensure that these exciting projects will go ahead.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund, along with the BFI, Historic England and Arts Council England, are currently assessing applications for the remaining £400 million in funding from the Culture Recovery Fund, which was held back to allow the Government to support organisations through the Spring and Summer.

Recipients from the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund have contributed stunning images to a curated collection of video-call backgrounds, released today. The public can choose from famous arts venues and heritage sites from Durham Cathedral to the English National Ballet to use as their background and show their support for the cultural sectors. The backgrounds are free to download.

The Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, Rector of Bath Abbey said: “We are most grateful to receive this much-needed funding to support the Abbey’s mission, particularly as we pursue outstanding care of both our built and natural environment. This funding will enable us to install an eco-heating system in Bath Abbey that is more energy efficient, more sustainable and altogether more effective. In these challenging times this money from the Government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund is a lifeline for us and for many others, as we continue to care for our beautiful heritage and those we serve in the community”.

Bath Abbey’s Footprint project is a £19.3 million programme of work, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, that will provide new spaces for learning, music and interpretation, better visitor facilities, undertake essential conservation work, as well as opportunities for volunteer and community involvement.  It will secure the Abbey’s physical future and improve its hospitality, worship and service to the city. More information can be found on our website:

Notes to editors:

The full list of capital grant awards from National Lottery Heritage Fund is:

  • Museum of Oxford Hidden Histories, £240,000
  • Bevis Marks Synagogue Heritage Foundation, £497,000
  • North Yorkshire Moors Historic Railway Trust, £296,000
  • The Royal Pavilion Estate, Brighton, £1,000,000
  • Tavistock Guildhall Gateway Centre, £130,900
  • Geffrye Museum Trust, £692,000
  • Bath Abbey, £534,000
  • Tunbridge Wells Cultural & Learning Hub, £675,000
  • The Archway Centre: Roman Baths Learning Centre and World Heritage Centre, £359,600
  • Swanage Pier Regeneration Project, £469,800
  • Cleveland Pools Trust, £290,000
  • Lincoln Cathedral, £973,600
  • Chester Farm, £719,700
  • Wicksteed Park, £302,700
  • Black Country Living Museum, £3,740,000
  • The Whitaker, £179,900
  • The Globe, Stockton-on-Tees, £774,000
  • The Common Room of the Great North, £228,000
  • Beamish Museum, £975,500
  • Carlisle Cathedral, £250,000
  • Thackray Museum, £174,600
  • The Hyde Park Picture House, £285,600