Bath Preservation Trust (BPT) has been awarded £192,200 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future.
Covid-19 has caused the most serious threat to BPT’s existence since its foundation in 1934. The loss of income from the closure of the four museums it operates meant that the financial model under which it had operated independently and successfully for many years, was removed overnight. The continuing crisis, which in particular has led to the collapse of international tourism – usually so vital to the economy of Bath – means that solutions must be found that are both long term and transformational to enable the Trust to recover and survive into the future.
Along with replacing vital lost income required for day to day running costs, this latest Culture Recovery Fund grant will be used for a number of initiatives that will help BPT remain resilient as visitors return, but constrained by social distancing for the foreseeable future. It will support developing the BPT Membership offer to allow even more of those who love the City to engage with it from near or far, and also having used the CRF 1 grant to invest in the offer at No 1 Royal Crescent with a new immersive digital visitor experience, it will allow the museum to prepare to reopen with confidence.
Bath Preservation Trust’s Chief Executive Caroline Kay said: “Once again, we are delighted that this Cultural Recovery Grant recognises the value of heritage to the UK, and that the role BPT plays in the protection and promotion of a UNESCO World Heritage Site is so valued. The grant gives us time and money to help us adjust to the new realities of the post-Covid world and we are incredibly grateful for this support.”
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”
BPT was also successful during the first round of awards from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, receiving up to £825,400 in October 2020. That grant underpinned the Trust’s ongoing fixed costs, and enabled work to create a new, safe, public experience within the museums in keeping with the requirements of the ‘new normal’. It also ensured BPT was able to continue using its expertise in support of the City of Bath through its vital planning and campaigning work.
BPT was also grateful to receive an NHLF Emergency Fund grant in July 2020 which allowed BPT to re-open No 1 Royal Crescent for the summer under a new reduced model, and to trial other COVID-secure events.