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St James Priory Project has received £50,000 National Lottery support to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on heritage

11th September 2020

Categories: Latest News

St James Priory Project has received £50,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to enable our Charity to keep this important Grade 1 listed site open and accessible to the public. It will also help us to complete some urgent repairs to the building and to safely open up our other facilities.

Susan Jotcham MBE CEO at St James  said:  “Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can now start to open up some of our facilities. Having been closed under the Lockdown regulations we have gradually, as permitted, opened up the Historic Building on a restricted time frame. However, the Café and Meeting Rooms, which were major sources of revenue, remain closed. Due to Covid 19 we estimate that our revenue has dropped by around 2/3rds and the urgent repairs required to the church were put on hold and staff were furloughed.

Whilst we monitored the security and safety of the Church and buildings during this time our focus over this period was on the core service providing support for the vulnerable residents in our Supported Accommodation provision on site.

With this emergency grant we can now ensure that the repair work for the Historic Building can begin. Also as visitors to the church increase  their longer term safety can be improved  by providing the latest Covid 19 signage and cleaning and protection equipment. This will also allow some of the groups that regularly used the Meeting Rooms, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Compassionate Friends, to begin to return safely as permitted.

We’re grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.”

The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million was made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

The UK-wide fund aimed to address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as St James Priory Charity during this uncertain time.”

Like St James Priory Project  other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund is now closed for applications. To find out more about how The National Heritage Emergency Fund is supporting the sector at this time please visit:

To find out more about the National Lottery Good Causes , visit:

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