We are delighted to see that Gunnersbury appears in the list of emergency funding grants totalling £400 million which were announced on 2 April 2021. The grant of £367,365 is for the period up to 30 June 2021.
The Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) of £15.7 billion was allocated by the Dept of Culture Media and Sport to be distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Arts Council and others. The aim has been to support cultural and heritage organisations at imminent risk of failure during the pandemic.
Gunnersbury has already received £164,000 the Heritage Emergency Fund. This was distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in the late summer of 2020 and was intended to cover key costs until the end of January 2021.
Receiving large grants of this kind greatly eases the pressure on the CIC’s budget for a short period. Applying for a CRF grant is rather a complicated process but core costs such as salaries (so that staff can be brought back from furlough), premises costs, legal and financial fees can be covered, something few other grant schemes allow. The grant is also expected to cover activities such as learning programmes and events which may need to be adapted for delivery in the different circumstances of the pandemic, in order to help the organisation to become sustainable during and after the crisis.
Other comparable local heritage organisations have also submitted successful bids. Chiswick House & Gardens Trust received £308,000 under Round 1 of the CRF and Pitzhanger Manor has just been awarded £226,500 under Round 2.
The sum of £300 million was added to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund in the March Budget so there may be a further round of grants from this source in the summer, should cultural organisations still be struggling to survive.