Nottingham Castle has been awarded a £95,538 Capital Kickstart grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund enabling the organisation to push forward with its major redevelopment despite the financial challenge caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
Nottingham Castle is one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million today. The Capital Kickstart grants programme helps organisations cover costs added to capital projects such as building works, refurbishments, and large-scale equipment purchases by pandemic-related delays or fundraising shortfalls.
The heritage site has been undergoing a £30m redevelopment since 2018, to transform the castle and grounds into a world-class visitor destination. The work aims to not only bring more people to Nottingham as a city but also to share the rich culture and important collections housed at Nottingham Castle with a wider audience.
The funding received from the Capital Kickstart grant will be invested in the castle’s digital outreach and visitor experience through digital community projects, an improved ticketing system and a brand-new visitor app. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, it has been proven how vital both the digital and physical experience is for visitors to museums and attractions.
Today DCMS also announces that £165 million from the Culture Recovery Fund has been offered in repayable loans to help 11 major cultural organisations survive the loss of income caused by the crisis. This follows previous rounds of the Culture Recovery Fund, including the Grants programme which distributed £428 million to over 2,000 cultural organisations across the country, and the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund.
Sara Blair-Manning, Chief Executive of Nottingham Castle, said “We are delighted to have been successful with our application to the Arts Council Capital Kickstart fund. The grant funding enables Nottingham Castle Trust, the designated operator for Nottingham Castle, to improve three specific areas of our work;
- Extend our reach with our community engagement via bespoke digital outreach projects, which will be shared in the city from the beginning of 2021.
- An improved visitor experience on our website and ticketing platforms.
- A visitor app that will be introduced once the castle has reopened, which will again improve the visitor experience.
With this funding in place, Nottingham Castle Trust will be able to broaden its reach and deliver improved visitor experiences for the residents of and visitors to Nottingham.”
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “This government promised it would be here for culture and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word.
“The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications.
“Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture – so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England said “Today’s announcement is another vital step in securing the future of England’s cultural sector. Supporting capital projects will help to ensure that we maintain an innovative, sustainable cultural infrastructure that supports world class creative work, while the loans announced today will enable some of our largest and most prestigious cultural organisations to weather the effects of Covid-19 and reopen when it is safe to do so. The Arts Council is grateful to the Government for their support through the Culture Recovery Fund, and we are proud to support all the organisations receiving funding today.”