How Bedern Hall plans to provide a tourism boost for York after the pandemic

Bedern Hall in York has received a lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.

Bedern Hall Director, Roger Lee

The hall is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country to receive a financial boost from the Government during the pandemic.

Bedern Hall is licensed for wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships. The new grant funding is part of a series of related initiatives, including new interpretation materials, to make it accessible to a wider audience.

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A spokesman said: " The plan will increase access, improve visitor facilities, provide greater interpretation and education and give Bedern Hall a stronger role in the promotion of the City of York".

The funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by Government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

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.”

Bedern Hall Director, Roger Lee said: “We continue to be a popular event and function venue and by Spring next year plan to have in place a new contribution to York’s visitor economy”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive said: “It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19.

"These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites. The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”

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.”

Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “This support for our nation’s heritage is fantastic news. Over the last few months, our teams have been working hard to welcome visitors back safely to the great castles, stone circles, abbeys and historic houses in our care. This funding will help us invest to safeguard the historic fabric of these much-loved places, which everyone can learn from and enjoy.”

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James Mitchinson