Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to support Old Royal Naval College’s reopening

Mon 12 Apr 21

The Old Royal Naval College has received vital grants from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage to help the World Heritage site to recover, reopen and better plan for the future. Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including the Old Royal Naval College in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England are significant grants, which have enabled the Old Royal Naval College to retain staff, develop its public and learning programme such as introducing First Sundays, which offer monthly discounted entry alongside a varied family programme. Activities and events were also adapted to be delivered online and in ways compliant with the evolving public health guidelines.

In October, a free exhibition, Black Greenwich Pensioners, involved collaborations with local young Black poets and was accompanied by a series of freely accessible podcasts and walking tours.

Support from the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund will ensure that the site can re-open safely to the public with a full staff team. Funding will also support a marketing campaign to welcome back visitors and deliver a programme of events and activities across the grounds, that make the most of the expansive open spaces to attract local and national visitors.

This summer’s programme includes a new free family-friendly exhibition, Mischief and Misadventure by children’s illustrator, Nick Ellwood and the return of Luke Jerram’s popular art piece, Gaia, installed in the magnificent Painted Hall.

Matthew Mees, Chief Executive at the Old Royal Naval College said, “We are incredibly grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England for these significant grants. Our team and community are passionate about making the Old Royal Naval College such an extraordinary cultural destination in the heart of Greenwich; one of local pride and world-wide acclaim.

“The income lost over the past year due to Covid-19 related restrictions and disruption has been significant. This vital financial support will help us to reopen safely, protect our heritage assets for people to enjoy and develop further our public and learning programme.

“We have never been more excited to welcome people back. This year’s events and activities are shaping up well and our successful reopening last year has demonstrated our visitors’ appetite to discover and explore art, history and culture within iconic heritage spaces such as ours.”