Sussex Archaeological Society handed £250,000 in emergency funding
Sussex Archaeological Society has been awarded a £250,000 grant — a vital financial boost to important historic sites across the counties.
The Society received the crucial funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund following a successful application to their Covid-19 Emergency Fund.
The registered charity has received the maximum £250,000 grant to help cover immediate costs and urgent conservation works required at their properties.
Lockdown has hit the organisation hard with the loss of almost £1million of income so far this year. Fishbourne Roman Palace near Chichester, Britain’s largest Roman villa, is one of a number of historic properties at risk of permanent closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fishbourne Roman Palace under threat of permanent closure - Urgent fundraising appeal launched to save historic buildingIn Upper Dicker, Michelham Priory’s gardens have been open over the past weeks and the main house reopened a few days ago much to the delight of visitors.
Fishbourne Roman Palace and Lewes Castle will both be reopening part-time in the coming days for a trial period, which is a positive step forwards for the charity at a time when so many heritage sites and museums remain closed.
Amanda Jones, chair of trustees for the Sussex Archaeological Society said: “We are enormously grateful to National Lottery Heritage Fund for this much needed support which brings immediate financial security over these next few months.
Here's when Fishbourne Roman Palace is reopening to the public"The award of the maximum amount available is a real validation of the importance of our much-loved society at national level. We are committed to ensuring the society, its wonderful archaeological and heritage collections and the amazing properties in its care will survive to play a central role in our region’s social and economic recovery.
"The impacts of this crisis remain far reaching and so we are pleased to have the opportunity to apply for further support through the government’s £1.57bn cultural recovery fund.
“Our sincere thanks also go to our loyal members and visitors who are continuing to support us throughout these difficult times and to those who have donated so generously to our ongoing 175 campaign; the love shown for our amazing society has been overwhelming.”
Recent visits by MPs Nigel Huddleston and Nus Ghani to Fishbourne Roman Palace and Michelham Priory respectively, have highlighted the importance of the Sussex Archaeological Society’s properties, collections, and research both in Westminster and on a national level.
Details of the Society’s fundraising campaign and property opening times can be found at: www.sussexpast.co.uk