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Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives Culture Recovery Fund loan

Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the independent charity that cares for Shakespeare’s heritage in Stratford-upon-Avon, has been successful in its application for repayable finance to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The loan of £3 million will help secure the Trust’s immediate future and support its recovery, as it navigates through the significant loss of trading income of some £17 million across 2020 and 2021 amidst the ongoing impact of the COVID pandemic on the tourism economy.

Tim Cooke, Chief Executive of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “The Trust is deeply grateful to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and its Culture Recovery Fund and to Arts Council England for all its support. We are now looking forward to reopening Shakespeare’s Birthplace on 17 May in line with the Government’s roadmap for cultural reopening, and we can also make plans to open further Shakespeare family homes in a phased manner this summer – more details will be announced shortly and we look forward to seeing visitors in person very soon.

“In the meantime we continue to expand our digital content, and we have just delivered our UK-wide Shakespeare Week initiative online for primary school children, enabling us to fulfil our charitable mission of sharing Shakespeare’s heritage and his enduring legacy with audiences all over the world.

“The decision to apply for this loan was considered carefully. As a self-funded charity, we have lost almost all of our trading income for a prolonged period, and we continue to suffer the effects of the major downturn in international tourism.”

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced today. The second round of awards 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.

Peter Knott, Area Director for the Midlands, Arts Council England said, “We’re pleased to be able to offer £3million to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in repayable finance through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Boasting the UK’s largest Shakespeare library and archive, alongside historic houses relating to the Bard's family, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is an important part of England's cultural offer. They can now plan for the future and prepare to reopen, welcoming back audiences and visitors once more.”

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