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Fresh cash available to support heritage schemes

Shutterstock historic building scaffold west london facade
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Historic England has made fresh funding available to help heritage building projects through the coronavirus crisis

The public body launched the £3 million emergency pot to fix urgent problems and allow heritage sites to open as soon as possible.

It follows a £2 million fund that was launched in April after Historic England found that restrictions imposed to tackle Covid-19 posed a significant threat to many businesses in the sector.

A survey showed that more than 40 per cent of craft workers and professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors predicted their businesses would fail by this summer even with government support.

Historic England’s survey also showed that nearly 80 per cent of heritage bodies had lost business in the short term, while nearly 60 per cent had postponed or cancelled income-generating events.

Grants of up to £25,000 will be offered through the latest fund to address problems such as damaged roofs, masonry and windows; to hire scaffolding to prevent structural collapse; and to commission surveys to inform urgent repairs.

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said: ‘This emergency fund aims to generate new work for those professionals and small businesses most vulnerable within the heritage sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, at the same time protecting significant historic sites where our support is most needed.

‘It is vital that we keep the wheels of the sector turning in order to protect livelihoods and save our heritage, which enriches people’s lives and is a source of national and local pride.’

Heritage minister Nigel Huddleston added: ‘Our heritage is of huge national importance and we are absolutely committed to helping support our historic buildings, monuments and landscapes. This new fund, on top of unprecedented government financial support, will help to protect and preserve our heritage during this challenging time.’

Projects must start before the end of October to be eligible.

The deadline for expressions of interest is midnight on 28 June. For more detail see here.

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