Northumberland Archives awarded nearly £50,000 from Culture Recovery Fund

Northumberland Archives have been awarded funding from the Culture Recovery Fund to help it recover from Covid-19.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 7:34 am

The service has received a cash boost of £48,100 from the fund which is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion package to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.

The funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by Government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Northumberland Archives are one of 433 organisations which will receive a share of £67m to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery.

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Northumberland Archives has been granted £48,100.

Like many other cultural organisations and services Northumberland Archives were forced to close their doors to the public in March, only reopening with restricted access in September.

This has meant that the income generation through the consultancy services provided by the Archives team have taken a huge hit, with a projection of only reaching 18% of their income target for the year.

This funding will allow Northumberland Archives to refocus the delivery methods of their services, install new ways of income generation, and build in resilience.It means the team can create an online shop for those using the Archives to be able to download high-quality imagery, investigate the possibilities of partnerships in relation to commercial services to reach a wider audience and to pilot new ways of engagement to reach individuals who would not usually use their services.

Cllr Jeff Watson, cabinet member responsible for archives at Northumberland County Council, said: "Covid-19 has had a severe impact on Northumberland Archives Service. Following national guidance our archives research centres were closed, which had a major impact on the service's income.

"Covid has led to digital access to our services becoming a key priority. This funding will allow us to engage with a wider and more diverse audience by making more of our collections available online and in venues beyond our search rooms. We will also be able to improve the accessibility of our archives and increasing the availability of content online.

"The fund will also help us to create an online shop of archives for people to purchase and download, including high quality images and parish and church records."

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