The Seaton Tramway has been awarded £435,100 from the government backed Culture Recover Fund following the release of the first round of funding of this £1.57 billion fund. The money will go towards wages, major overhauls such as track and tram maintenance and the creation of new offers and opportunities with world class partners and exhibitions.
As with many heritage organisations across England, the Seaton Tramway has suffered during 2020 with less money coming through the door following a more than three month closure and then lower capacity on board the trams since reopening at the start of July. This funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will help to fill this gap and enable the tramway to both maintain the current infrastructure and look ahead to the future.
Jenny Nunn, Chief Executive of the Seaton Tramway, said: “Having to close the Tramway on 23rd March and consequently cancel any income for the next three months is one of the toughest things any business and employer has had to implement. In an unprecedented year for all, I am extremely grateful that the Cultural Recovery Fund has recognised the extreme difficulties faced by tourism and hospitality and has agreed to support us in this way. The months ahead will still be very challenging but the award also ensures the sustainability of the charity as an important economic driver for the area.”
The money comes from the Culture Recovery Fund which has £1.57 billion to award to deserving organisations across England. Seaton has received funding in the first round of announcements which includes all awards up to £1mlilion. Other places to receive funding have included the Bluebell Railway, Swanage Railway and West Somerset Railway. Over £67 million of funding has been announced from this fund so far with 433 heritage organisations the recipients. The aim is to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery.
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial. Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live. All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time. Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet. But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”
Further higher amounts from this find will be announced later in October.