Hartlepool gun battery museum overjoyed at £70,000 Covid heritage funding
Hartlepool’s Heugh Battery Museum on the site of the UK’s only First World War battlefield has been awarded more than £70,000 to survive the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The museum on the Headland, which closed during the March lockdown, has been awarded £71,573 in the first round of the Government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).
It is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country to receive a share of £257 million in urgently-needed support.
The Heugh Battery Museum was saved from closure by the support of hundreds of local people last year after funds ran desperately low, and was on course to host more visitors, events and activities before the pandemic struck.
The new funding will allow for essential maintenance of its collection and to prepare for its planned reopening early next year.
Museum manager Diane Stephens said: “We are so grateful for this funding award.
"There is so much going on behind the scenes with our volunteers doing essential maintenance, and this money will help us to save some large objects in our collection which have not done well over lockdown.
"We aim to reopen the museum early in 2021, and hope that visitors will feel able to come back and support us again.
“We have really missed being open and look forward to welcoming our regular visitors and lots of new people too!”
The museum in Moor Terrace is home to an impressive collection of artillery, military vehicles and tells the story of the role the batter played during the bombardment of the Hartlepools on December 16, in 1914.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country.
"This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”
The Culture Recovery Fund grants programme is administered by Arts Council England.
Chair Sir Nicholas Serota said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages.
"This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences.”