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Durham Cathedral awarded over £700k from the Culture Recovery Fund to support reopening 

07 April 2021

Durham Cathedral is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £732,800 of grant support from the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) which is administered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and Historic England to support its reopening. 

The fund was announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in December 2020 and was the second part of a £1.57 billion rescue package, to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of COVID-19. This second round of funding follows on from the £1.9m the cathedral was fortunate enough to receive from the first funding round, announced last year. 

The cathedral, like many other heritage organisations, has experienced the challenges that come with months of lockdowns and extended periods of restricted access. This latest grant will be instrumental in supporting the phased reopening of the great Norman cathedral, first as a safe place of worship in April and later as a visitor attraction with a programme of heritage activity in May, in line with the Government’s staged roadmap out of lockdown. You can find more information about the cathedral’s reopening plans on its website. 

The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham said: “We are exceptionally grateful to receive further support from the Culture Recovery Fund. It is difficult to overstate the impact of the original grant on Durham Cathedral, allowing us to deliver a transformational change programme that will safeguard the cathedral’s future at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site for generations to come.  When we closed our doors in March 2020 we could not have imagined the challenges we would face in the year ahead; but it is certain we would not be in the strong position we are now without the Culture Recovery Fund. This further boost will support us to reopen safely for our much-missed staff, volunteers, community and visitors, so we can once again share the “best cathedral on planet earth” with the people of North East of England and beyond. We can look forward to brighter days ahead, thanks to the generous support of DCMS and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.”

The majority of the funding will go towards essential maintenance and operating costs, as well as the salaries of almost 60 staff working in all areas of the cathedral, from front of house and property to library and collections. Beyond that, the funding will support the continuing work of the cathedral’s Change Programme, which centres on delivering an exceptional visitor experience to all.

You can find out more about the incredible work the National Lottery Heritage Fund have been doing to support the heritage sector at and you can watch the #HereforCulture announcement video on Twitter