Brighton's Royal Pavilion and museums awarded £370k from Government fund

Recovery fund money from the Government will enable Brighton's Royal Pavilion and museums to reopen to visitors once again after lockdown.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 9:59 am
Updated Friday, 2nd April 2021, 10:02 am
Pictured outside the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery entrance are The Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust's chair of the trustees, Michael Bedingfield, on the left, and chief executive Hedley Swain on the right.

The Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust was among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust chief executive Hedley Swain welcomed the news and said: “This will make a major difference to our ability to re-open venues and do all we can to welcome as many visitors as possible in 2021.

Some of the items from The Prince's Treasure at Brighton Royal Pavilion. The Pavilion will reopen on May 17.

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back safely and to continue to provide wonderful museum services for the people of Brighton & Hove and beyond.

“The Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust are incredibly grateful to Arts Council England, DCMS and Secretary of State Oliver Dowden for this vital grant."

The charitable trust said the lockdowns had severely affected the organisation which will still face a very difficult year financially in 2021. But it is hoping to attract the many visitors expected to flock to the city this summer with a range of cultural activities planned at the Royal Pavilion and its four other venues – Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, The Booth Museum, Hove Museum and Preston Manor.

This will include the opportunity to see A Prince's Treasure at the Royal Pavilion, with spectacular items on loan from Her Majesty the Queen in their original setting. The exhibition has been extended until January 2022. The Royal Pavilion will reopen on Monday, May 17,

Brighton's Royal Pavilion will reopen on May 17

The hugely popular photographic show of David Bowie – Rock n Roll with Me: Bowie/ MacCormack 1973-76 has also been extended until January 2022. This show sold out during the short window when the museum could open in the autumn. Tickets go on sale on April 9 and the museum reopens on Tuesday, May 18.

Preston Manor will reopen on Friday, May 28, with new family trails on offer.

Michael Bedingfield, Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust chair of trustees, said: “Culture is an essential part of the Brighton and Hove economy and will be essential to its recovery after such a difficult year. As an organisation we want to play our full part to attract visitors back to our wonderful city and to enjoy all it has to offer. Our fantastic museums and the world-famous Royal Pavilion are great attractions for local residents and people from all over the UK and the world.

“However, 2021 will continue to be very difficult and unpredictable for our organisation. We will continue to need lots of support from our stakeholders, supporters and audiences. This could be visiting one or all of our venues when they reopen, visiting our fantastic Royal Pavilion shop or donating to our charitable fund.”

The Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust's new chair of the Trustees, Michael Bedingfield, pictured on the left, and chief executive Hedley Swain on the right

More than £800million 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.

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."

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of 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.”