Macclesfield’s heritage receives a lifeline grant from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund -

Macclesfield’s iconic The Old Sunday School building on Roe St, Macclesfield, has received a financial boost from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help fund repairs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lifeline grants from the Culture Recovery Fund are designed to protect heritage sites and ensure that jobs and access to culture and heritage in local communities are protected during the months ahead.

The Old Sunday School has received an award of £25,000 for essential work on repairing the finely proportioned timber sash windows on the north and south facades of the building. This work is crucial to ensure that the building is safe for our visitors and partners to use. It supports our plans to reopen the building as soon as possible by providing sufficient ventilation essential to mitigate the risks from Covid.

Grants of up to £25,000 are being allocated to cherished heritage sites, like The Old Sunday School, across the country to cover urgently needed maintenance and repairs. This vital funding comes from a part of the Culture Recovery Fund called the Heritage Stimulus Fund and is administered on behalf of the government by Historic England.

As well as rescuing precious heritage buildings in need, the injection of cash will protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors working in the sector.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities. We’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it’s there for future generations to enjoy.”

Built in 1814 as a school and community building, with money raised from voluntary contributions, the Old Sunday School has remained in use by the community for over 200 years. In 1980 the Friends of Macclesfield Silk Heritage formed to restore the building and since then it has housed heritage displays, education spaces, a cafe, workshop spaces and meeting rooms. The stunning auditorium is used as a cinema and concert hall. This building remains valued highly by local residents as well as having high historical significance.

John Varney, Chair, The Silk Heritage Trust said: “This generous support from Historic England comes at a vital time for the Old Sunday School. It helps preserve this important part of Macclesfield’s heritage, enables its future as a creative hub and contributes to the longer-term recovery of the town.”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive said: “Historic places across the country are being supported by the Government’s grants awarded under the Culture Recovery Fund. This funding is a lifeline which is kick-starting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of COVID-19.

“It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning. Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future.”

About the Culture Recovery Fund

The government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund is designed to secure the future of Britain’s heritage sites as well as museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

£1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund is divided into categories for Heritage, Arts and Film. In England, it is administered on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport by the arms-length bodies Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and the British Film Institute.

Funding for Heritage:

• The £50m Heritage Stimulus Fund is administered at arms-length by Historic England
• The £88m Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is a joint fund, allocated at arms-length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

About Historic England

We are Historic England, the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.