The Bard’s birthplace receives major £3 million grant

Shakespeare’s birthplace

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage in Stratford-upon-Avon, has been awarded £3 million as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. The grant is designed to protect cultural and creative organisations from the economic impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, and to ensure they have a sustainable future.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is one of 35 major cultural organisations receiving the first grants between £1 and £3 million through the Culture Recovery Fund – with £75 million of investment announced today by Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden.

The grant is a welcome support for the Trust, and will sustain its work over the winter months through until March 2021. The funding will enable the continued opening of Shakespeare’s Birthplace as part of the Trust’s mission to promote Shakespeare’s legacy on behalf of the nation, and support the regional tourism economy. It will also help the Trust deliver its charitable objectives to conserve and maintain Shakespeare’s heritage in Stratford-upon-Avon, and introduce new digital and learning initiatives.

Tim Cooke, Chief Executive of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “This award is a great encouragement for the work of sharing Shakespeare, for the town of Stratford-upon-Avon and for the whole region. We are immensely grateful to DCMS and Arts Council England for their commitment and support.

“We have been so badly hit by the financial impact of the pandemic, so this investment is vital and enormously welcome at this critical time. Shakespeare’s works and heritage are central pillars of our cultural fabric. Shakespeare’s own story and his timeless works are amongst the most powerful and profound avenues for exploring ourselves and our experiences in the world – all the more important in such times of crisis and uncertainty. It is essential that we protect and promote his enthralling story in Stratford-upon-Avon on behalf of our nation and the whole global community.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted that the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been successful through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. The museums and historic buildings are cornerstones of Warwickshire’s cultural offer and this grant will offer them some short-term security and the opportunity to plan for the future. Holding the world’s largest Shakespeare-related library, museum and archives and bringing thousands of children together each year as part of Shakespeare Week, the Trust protects the places Shakespeare lived, worked and grew up across the region, to inspire future generations.

“The Government’s package is hugely welcome, providing much of the sector with resources to remain in business through to the spring. Well-loved community projects, theatres, galleries, museums, clubs, music venues, festivals, key cultural suppliers along with other creative spaces and projects have benefited, and their communities will feel a boost as a result. At a time where many communities and organisations face difficult challenges, this is a chance to continue on the road to recovery, post-Covid.”