Lifeline for Great Dixter

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House and long border

The Great Dixter house and garden charitable trust has received a lifeline grant from the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund and is among the almost 450 heritage organisations in England to be awarded cash from the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.

Grants of up to £1 million will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

445 organisations will share £103 million, including Great Dixter, to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

Adapting for the future

Great Dixter have been awarded a grant of £190,600 which they will use for a range of initiatives to help them change the way they work and allow them to adapt some of their facilities for the future.

This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by government and administered at arm’s 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.

Fergus Garrett, chief executive and head gardener at Great Dixter House and Gardens, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund has played an important role in Great Dixter’s survival since the formation of the Great Dixter Charitable Trust. They have been extraordinarily supportive and sensitive to our needs, and none more so than during these uncertain times. Without them, many organisations like ours could be looking at operating at a much reduced level. We are, in this nation, indeed very privileged to have such a compassionate organisation as theirs.”

Open to the end of November

“The Culture Recovery Fund has enabled us to extend this year’s opening to the end of November, allowing visitors to experience Dixter’s autumnal beauty and rich biodiversity in a safe and controlled environment.”

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.”

Source:Great Dixter

Image Credits: Gillian Roder .

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