• #HereForCulture
  • Westival Online, streamed from the West End Centre, July 2020
  • Young visitors making use of the new WWII assault course at Aldershot Military Museum
  • Hampshire Cultural Trust staff member celebrating venues re-opening at the Westgate Museum in Winchester
  • VE Day 75 Projection at the Willis Museum, Basingstoke. (Zeal Live)
  • A young participant in the Basingstoke Peace Project

Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT), has been awarded £240,000 as part of the latest round of awards from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help the trust recover and reopen, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

Hampshire Cultural Trust is among more than 2,700 recipients across the country to benefit from the Culture Recovery Fund, administered by Arts Council England. More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations to support them as they begin to re-open their doors after a challenging year.

Hampshire Cultural Trust was established in 2014 to promote Hampshire as a great cultural county. The trust manages 23 arts and museum attractions and delivers a huge variety of exhibitions, events, workshops, classes and projects, with particular emphasis on reaching people who are vulnerable and would not normally be able to access arts and culture. The trust also cares for 2.5 million objects relating to Hampshire’s rich and internationally important heritage. Its charitable purpose is changing lives through culture and the organisation is passionate about achieving this, particularly throughout the pandemic.

During the past, turbulent year, Hampshire Cultural Trust’s virtual doors have remained open with its innovative digital publication, Culture on Call.  Now, preparing to re-open its venue doors once again, the trust continues to find ways to reach those in need, supporting health, wellbeing and happiness with creative cultural experiences.

The second round of awards made today will help Hampshire Cultural Trust and other organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead. 

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said, ‘Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.’

Paul Sapwell, Chief Executive Officer for Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented, ‘We are thrilled to receive this vital funding as Hampshire Cultural Trust prepares to start welcoming visitors back to our museums, galleries and arts centres in May. The support we have received from DCMS and ACE is crucial in ensuring that we can continue to provide creative cultural experiences and operate safely as we begin to re-open our doors once again. Culture has such an important role to play in supporting everyone’s health, wellbeing and happiness and we look forward to playing our part in the recovery of our communities as we move towards a future where we can put the pandemic behind us.’

Andy Parsons, comedian and performer at West End Centre in Aldershot, said, It’s always a delight to gig at Hampshire Cultural Trust's arts centres, so it is great to hear that they have support from the Culture Recovery Fund. It means we can all continue to do what we love and entertain live audiences – I can’t wait to get back on stage with them again!’

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said, Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.’

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.