The Mary Rose has received £250,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help it survive the financial peril caused by the COVID 19 crisis.
The Museum closed to the public in March 2020 due to lockdown, leading to the loss of 84 percent of its annual income, which is generated from visitors during April-August each year. The Mary Rose was quickly in jeopardy, as the majority of costs to care for the internationally significant collection continue, despite public closure. A total of 82 percent of staff were furloughed and costs cut wherever possible, but the costs of keeping the 500-year-old artefacts in the right environmental conditions 24/7, year round, are extremely high due to the need for specialist staff and complex systems and equipment.
Helen Bonser-Wilton, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: “National Lottery players were instrumental in funding the creation of the Mary Rose Museum, so we are exceptionally grateful to receive this renewed support to help cover the costs of caring for Mary Rose during this crisis period. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has been a beacon of hope for so many heritage organisations during this challenging period and its emergency funding is providing a much needed lifeline to UK heritage organisations.”
She continued: “The Mary Rose reopened in August, offering joint tickets to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with the National Museum of the Royal Navy and we are delighted to welcome our visitors again. Securing more support over the coming months is going to be crucial to ensure that the Mary Rose can be enjoyed by future generations.”
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 the Mary Rose Trust during this uncertain time.”
Photo credit: Hufton + Crow