THE National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is among 450 heritage organisations to receive a portion of £103 million of funding, in the first tranche of grants issued by the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

£297,000 has been awarded to the 150-acre woodland and garden site, which will enable the arboretum to remain viable despite opening only to limited numbers of pre-booked visitors.

Philippa Rawlinson, managing director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “Throughout the summer months we welcomed many people to the arboretum following our re-opening, many of them eager to enjoy the great outdoors. However, this year has still been financially challenging as we continue to suffer from the loss of income due to our period of closure and the continued limit on visitor numbers.

“This latest grant is invaluable support as we work to secure additional funding and make preparations for the long-awaited day when we can ease restrictions and welcome visitors back in their droves. Our whole team is determined to ensure we remain the nation’s year-round place to remember, freely open to all.”

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by government is crucial. Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities and rural areas better places to live. All of this is so important for our well-being and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.

“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet. But this hugely welcome funding from government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”

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