Harewood House Trust was delighted to be among 26 cultural organisations in Leeds to receive part of a £4.4 million funding boost on Monday, as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund. This latest fund was assigned to museums and arts organisations in the area, delivered by Arts Council England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

During the pandemic lock-down, Harewood was forced to close its doors to visitors for 14-weeks, a significant proportion of its nine-month open season, resulting in an estimated loss of over 80,000 visitors and an estimated £1.2 million in losses by year end. As an independent charity, Harewood is reliant upon income from visitor admission to continue its important work inspiring creativity and enriching lives for its local Leeds communities and further afield; this loss of revenue having a devastating impact upon the charity’s finances and plans for the future.

This grant was the latest in a line of fundraising initiatives supporting the charity through the pandemic; last week we were awarded £296,128 by Historic England and DCMS as part of their Programmes of Major Works grants, funding the vital restoration of Harewood’s Terrace Balustrade. In addition, earlier in the year, we were awarded an emergency National Heritage Lottery Fund to support our safe re-opening and were overwhelmed by the response to our first public appeal for Harewood’s beloved Bird Garden.

Together, national funding bodies have offered Harewood an outstanding £1m+ lifeline for the charity to date, this, coupled with the continued support from our loyal Members, Harewood now looks to a brighter future following Covid-19.

Image of Harewood House and surrounding grounds
Family fun on the Adventure Playground credit Harewood House Trust and John Steele (145)-min
Little boy points at a picture in the State Bedroom at Harewood House

This latest investment of £695,556 from the Cultural Recovery Fund will support:

  • A new programme of learning activities throughout its Christmas season and with the return of the Harewood Biennial in 2021;
  • A year-round series of outdoor, family-friendly events;
  • Major investment in Harewood’s technology infrastructure, enabling it to become more agile and adaptable to today’s needs;
  • A brand-new canopy for Harewood’s Courtyard and other outdoor spaces providing safe outdoor, socially distanced seating, cover for shopping events, plus weddings and private hire, generating vital financial support to the Charity.

The news comes as Harewood prepares to install Upon a Christmas Wish created with
Lord Whitney, and looks forward to inviting its Members and visitors back for another exciting festive season, having won Innovation of the Year Award at the 2020 Museums + Heritage Awards for last year’s season, with timed ticketing and Covid-safe measures in place.

Jane Marriott, Trust Director comments:

‘Harewood House Trust is an independent charity which is so heavily reliant on the income we receive from our visitors and much-loved Members. This income helps us to protect, share and celebrate this wonderful House and grounds which is such an integral part of Yorkshire. Like many of our colleagues, Harewood’s total closure earlier in the year placed us in such a difficult financial situation, facing over £1million in losses. However, the combination of our visitors’ support and a significant grant from the Culture Recovery Fund has secured Harewoods future recovery, so that we can continue to do ambitious programming, and to make certain that this wonderful place can continue to be enjoyed by as many as possible. The national funding bodies’ confidence in Harewoods work is very much needed and appreciated. We are now in a position to improve the site, develop our learning programme, continue to work with artists and maintain our ambitious visitor experience, looking once again to our future.’

Tickets for Harewood’s 2020 Christmas season – which includes New Year’s Day this year – are now on sale (Adults £17.50, Children £9, Family (2+2) £46 with online and early bird discounts available), with pre-booking essential and current restrictions necessitating visitors booking a time slot to enter the House.

Harewood House Christmas - christmas tree made of books and nutcracker in the library
Harewood House at Night - lit up for christmas
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