Culture Recovery Fund – further detail announced

Early detail on how the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund will operate emerged today as Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England published information on a range of related grants and repayable finance packages.

Welcoming the announcements, AIM Director Emma Chaplin said

“For AIM members there are effectively three routes to seeking support from the Culture Recovery Fund, all primarily targeted at getting organisations through to March 31 2021.

AIM members who are Accredited Museums, have Provisional or Working Towards Accredited Status should consider the Arts Council England support packages. Non-accredited museums and other heritage organisations should consider the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage administered by National Lottery Heritage Fund working together with Historic England.

There’s a lot to digest here but it’s great to see the breadth of our sector covered, and that the importance and impact a museum has locally, as well as the need to support diversity will be taken into account in the grant assessment  processes.

We understand that the Repayable Finance terms will also be encouragingly flexible and look forward to further detail being released on that imminently.”

The support forms part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) wider Culture Recovery Fund of £1.57 billion, set up to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.

Arts Council England support

Culture Recovery Fund: Grants

The Culture Recovery Fund: Grants programme is focused on supporting cultural organisations at risk of no longer trading viably by the end of this financial year that are considered to be of international or national cultural significance, or contribute to Government’s levelling-up agenda.  Grants of between £50,000 and £3 million will be awarded from a budget of up to £500 million. A Cultural Recovery Board will make decisions on applications over £1m and any organisation requiring more than £3m can only apply for a loan, with no upper limit.

The fund opens to two rounds of applications: at 12pm (midday) on Monday 10 August and Monday 21 August; applicants will need to be registered on Grantium to complete.

Culture Recovery Fund: Repayable Finance

£270 million will be available through the Culture Recovery Fund: Repayable Finance programme, open to both charitable and commercial organisations.  More details about this programme will be published shortly and before the recovery grants close to applications, so potential applicants can choose which option is best for their organisation.

Please note organisations cannot apply for both grants and repayable finance.

National Lottery Project Grants

National Lottery Project Grants also reopened recently and are aimed at those who need funding for an arts, museums or libraries project that shows public benefit. ACE have updated the guidance removing the need for applicants to source match-funding; giving individuals time and space to think and plan with their funding; and making more museums and libraries projects eligible for funding. They are also open to applications from freelancers.

More details on ACE support

Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage

The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage will provide £92m of grants for heritage and non-accredited museum organisations in England. These funds will be distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund working together with Historic England on behalf of DCMS.

Applications open Thursday 30 July with a deadline of midday Monday 17 August.

Full guidance and application details are available online at