Press release

Third round of Culture Recovery Fund to secure future of thousands of organisations

The final £300 million of the government’s £2 billion rescue package will support thousands of organisations in the run up to fuller reopening and beyond

Here for Culture

Third round of Culture Recovery Fund to secure future of thousands of organisations

  • The Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) package has already provided £1.2 billion to more than 5,000 organisations and sites across the country, protecting an estimated 75,000 jobs and supporting almost 100,000 freelancers

  • Funds will protect more culturally significant organisations in need, as well as boosting some existing recipients of the CRF

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced that the final £300 million of the Government’s record-breaking £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) will support organisations in need of urgent funding.

Applications are due to open for some parts of this funding shortly and it is hoped that thousands of arts, heritage, cultural and creative organisations will be supported to secure their future, building on the success of the fund so far.

The CRF has already provided more than £1.2 billion to more than 5,000 organisations in England, with further support going to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as to the UK’s national museums and galleries. The first round of the Culture Recovery Fund is estimated to have supported 75,000 jobs and it is estimated that the second round has supported 52,000 full time jobs and almost 100,000 freelancers.

The third and final round of funding will now provide further support as the cultural, heritage and creative sectors move towards reopening at full capacity, underlining the government’s commitment to help them build back better as life returns to normal.

The unprecedented funding package has already helped globally significant organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Albert Hall as well as locally significant organisations including the Black Country Living Museum and Sage Gateshead.

Almost £220 million will be available for both new organisations who are at imminent risk of failure and existing recipients of CRF grants. Funding will be available to boost those who have received support already whilst ensuring more culturally significant organisations do not fail as a result of the pandemic, protecting theatres, museums, galleries, independent cinemas and organisations around the country for future generations and safeguarding hundreds of thousands of creative jobs in the supply chain.

The aim of the funding is to help organisations prepare to reopen and for a return to full capacity, while building a sustainable financial future by providing much needed financial support to protect organisations through to the end of the year.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of organisations across the country to survive and protected hundreds of thousands of jobs. Now, as we look forward to full reopening, this funding shows our commitment to stand behind culture and heritage all the way through the pandemic.

This round of funding will provide a further boost to help organisations build back better and ensure we can support more of those in need - safeguarding our precious culture and heritage, and the jobs this supports.

Today’s funding announcement also includes a number of other critical investments to help protect the culture and heritage sectors.

The Heritage Stimulus Fund, which has already protected sites including The Tower of London as part of a £3 million grant to Historic Royal Palaces and Furness Abbey in Cumbria as part of a £2.9 million capital grant to English Heritage, will be boosted by £35 million, bringing the total fund to over £80 million. This funding has already enabled repair and maintenance works at more than 800 of the country’s treasured heritage assets and has protected the jobs of expert craftspeople working in the sector.

In the third round of funding it will support major programmes of work and repair grants for heritage at risk, keeping our nationally and internationally significant heritage assets in good condition and sustain the skilled workforce that looks after them.

The £20 million Cultural Asset Fund will support the National Heritage Memorial Fund’s (NHMF) COVID-19 Response Fund, creating a total of £40 million to save heritage assets at risk of loss, for the nation. The National Heritage Memorial Fund, founded in 1980, has already helped to save items including Henry VIII’s flagship Mary Rose and the Staffordshire Hoard and now, thanks to CRF support, will continue to protect our national heritage from the impact of the pandemic.

The additional £300 million for the Culture Recovery Fund was announced by the Chancellor at the Spring Budget as part of a wider £408 million package for arts and culture. This takes the government’s record breaking investment in the arts and cultural sectors to almost £2 billion since the start of the pandemic.

More than £1.2 billion of the Culture Recovery Fund has gone to over 5,000 individual organisations and sites, with 76% of organisations outside of London.

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

The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline for the sector throughout the pandemic, and has saved hundreds of cultural organisations across the country from collapse. Creativity and culture will be an essential part of our efforts to rebuild after the pandemic, and we’re extremely grateful for the Government’s continued support to help organisations reopen and play their part in the national recovery.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:

Summer is such an important time for the heritage sector, as visitors discover the delights of our heritage attractions and generate income to fund essential repairs. The pandemic has disrupted the normal rhythm of life for our historic places, so I’m delighted that more funding has been made available to help them through this critical stage in recovery. It will enable vital repair and maintenance work to go ahead, while providing employment for the specialist craft workers who ensure that our precious landmarks can survive.

Ros Kerslake, CEO, the National Heritage Memorial Fund said:

After an extremely challenging year across the heritage sector, the impacts of which will be seen for some time, I am delighted that the NHMF’s COVID-19 Response Fund is now open to safeguard and save the UK’s most important heritage assets in jeopardy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From today, organisations across the UK can apply for help with protecting assets at risk, from this Fund which has been established with £20 million of support from NHMF funds and a further boost of £20 million from the Government’s Cultural Asset Fund, available to those in England.

Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive said:

With cinemas reopening up and down the country the strong box office results are showing us that audiences are once again embracing the big screen experience that is so integral to communities, families and individual’s cultural life. The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline to survival for local independent cinemas up and down the country, and now will continue to help them to recover and thrive, ensuring that they will be able to continue to offer audiences a variety of film from family fun with Peter Rabbit 2 and feel good musical In The Heights to independent hits such as Oscar-winning The Father and the critically acclaimed After Love.

Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director, English National Ballet said:

The Culture Recovery Fund has been a life saver for many arts organisations. As we finally approach the full reopening of our sector, the final tranche of Culture Recovery Fund support will be vital in getting us all back to creating and performing, and all this means for the creative workforce, our audiences and the role that we know the arts will play in bringing us all back together.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director, Sage Gateshead said:

Sage Gateshead has already gratefully received vital financial support from the Culture Recovery Fund. This support, alongside generous philanthropy, has helped us survive a crisis situation. We were delighted to welcome audiences back into our building this month, but while we and so many others still operate at hugely reduced capacity, it is clear that it will take many months, if not years, for the sector to recover. Music and culture can play a vital role in supporting social, education and economic recovery across the country and helping people and communities heal, and we warmly welcome further investment to make this happen.

Tom Morris, Artistic Director, Bristol Old Vic said:

In what has been a devastating year for our sector and those that work within it, we are delighted to hear about the third round of the Culture Recovery Fund. Whatever your politics, there can be no doubt of the Government’s commitment to protect and invest in creativity and the creative industries which have so much to offer every community in the country. We at Bristol Old Vic are profoundly grateful for that support and look forward to an ongoing constructive dialogue with the Government about how we can build on that investment in future years, to rebuild our national economy, to help us all to understand the extraordinary impact of COVID and to build a fairer, more representative and more sustainable world in its wake.

Ana Keay OBE, Director, The Landmark Trust said:

The Culture Recovery Fund has been absolutely critical to the Landmark Trust during the pandemic, enabling our charity to carry out vital works to historic buildings from Cornwall to Northumberland which would otherwise have been cancelled, and playing a crucial role in safeguarding the nation’s heritage and keeping skilled craftspeople in business.

Alistair Spalding CBE, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadler’s Wells said:

By closing our theatres and vastly reducing the work we were able to achieve, the coronavirus crisis took away our ability to earn over 80% of our income. It is with enormous gratitude that Sadler’s Wells received a grant of £2,975,000 and then a loan of £4,250,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund.

These funds ensured our survival when we needed them most. They also meant we were able to create and share dance workshops and performances on our Digital Stage, enabling millions of people in the UK and around the world to access world class dance online, regardless of what challenges the pandemic threw at us. We are now welcoming audiences, artists, professionals and colleagues back to our London theatres, and we are delighted to be able to provide work and income for hundreds of artists and freelancers, in one of the toughest times in the industry’s history.

These funds ensure that we can now and will continue in future to deliver on our mission to make and share dance that inspires us all, and to continue to be a leading organisation for dance in this country and around the world.


Notes to editors:

Funding is broken down as follows:

CRF3 Resource Grants (including Emergency Resource Support and Continuity Support) - £218.5 million

Heritage Stimulus Fund - £35 million

Cultural Asset Fund - £20 million

Contingency - £35 million

Admin costs - £7.5 million

Guidance for each funding stream will be published shortly. Applications for the Emergency Resource Support funding will open shortly.

Published 25 June 2021