Culture & Creative IndustriesNews

West Horsley Place Trust in Surrey has received a grant of £80,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.


More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, including West Horsley Place Trust, in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.


The Trust is responsible for West Horsley Place, an ancient 380-acre estate located between the Surrey villages of West and East Horsley at the centre of which stands a Grade I listed manor house dating from the 15th century – and now in need of repair.  The West Horsley Place Trust was established in 2015 to conserve and repair the manor house and surrounding estate so that they can be enjoyed by the public.


This grant provides essential investment for the Trust, which is seeking to establish at West Horsley Place a welcoming space for the community to share and enjoy with arts, culture, history and nature at its heart.  It will help to cover some key operating costs whilst West Horsley Place remains closed, including the introduction of additional Covid-security measures across the site ahead of visitors being able to return this summer.   Place Farm Barn, which will open to the public for the first time, will be accessible thanks to this funding.


In addition, the grant will help the Trust to review and adapt its arts programme, which has been severely disrupted as a result of Covid-19.  With this funding the Trust will undertake further audience development so that more people can access the programme, which is being developed to enable a wide range of people from the local community to experience how heritage spaces can transform health and wellbeing.


Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.


The second round of awards made today will help 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.”


Ben Pearce, Director of West Horsley Place Trust, said:


“We are very grateful to receive this grant from the Culture Recovery Fund during what continues to be an extraordinarily difficult time. In addition to contributing to our operating costs so that we can reopen to the public this summer, this funding will support the development of our arts programme, which will be delivered in partnership with other charities.  Through collaboration, we have an important role to play in helping our communities heal from the pandemic.”


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, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.