Almost 450 heritage organisations in England, including several vessels on the Registers and National Historic Ships UK Shipshape Projects, have been awarded funding from the first round of the government's Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.

Grants of up to £1 million will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow & grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund. 

Historic vessels and Shipshape projects awarded Culture Recovery Fund grants are: 

Other Shipshape Projects awarded Culture Recovery Fund grants are:

  • Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust's working boatyard IBTC, based at Boathouse 4 (Shipshape South East)
  • Historic replica Golden Hinde in London (Shipshape South East)
  • Underfall Boat Yard in Bristol (Shipshape South West)


Other historic vessels on the Registers awarded Culture Recovery Fund grants are:

  • The Island Trust in Plymouth, owners of the gaff yawl Moosk
  • The Wellington Trust, owners of National Historic Fleet sloop HQS Wellington
  • Thames Steamers Limited, owners of National Historic Fleet passenger steamer Alaska

As a result of the pandemic, MV Balmoral has been unable to open to the public since the middle of March, leading to the charity being deprived of essential income to support the ship’s maintenance and preservation.  During the lockdown volunteers were less able to attend and maintain the ships working machinery and the decks’ integrity against rainwater.

The grant of £15,600 from the Culture Recovery Fund will contribute towards essential maintenance costs, PPE, heating and allow continuing restoration work.  It will also allow the vessel's integrity to be weather protected against the elements and for the charity to begin planning for the future.

Kieran Henshall, Trustee of the MV Balmoral Fund Limited, said:

“We are immensely grateful that the Government understands and recognises the vital role that Balmoral plays, both at the heart of Bristol, and also the positive economic impact the ship has on tourism and the coastal communities that Balmoral supports around Britain."

"This grant allows Balmoral to continue through the pandemic without holding events on board. It also provides vital funding towards protecting the deck’s watertight integrity against the seasonal weather and allowing her volunteers to continue with essential maintenance work throughout the winter months. It will also allow the charity to continue its educational role, by allowing virtual activities to be broadcast from onboard the ship.”

“The charity is incredibly grateful for the Government’s support during these challenging times, and while we will not be able to make up for the loss in income, the hacrity can now begin to refocus on its plans of returning the Balmoral to passenger service and supporting the coastal communities of the Bristol Channel that need her.”

For Tall Ship Zebu, their award of £458,400 will help launch the Zebu Sea Messenger initiative that will combine the presence of historic Tall Ship Zebu with promoting both the UK’s vast maritime history and awareness of marine environmental concerns to the coastal communities.  The project aims to make maritime heritage more relevant, accessible, and meaningful to more people as well as providing a platform for promoting environmental and sustainability awareness.

For Daniel Adamson - affectionally known as The Danny - this funding which will mean the 20 year volunteer-led project will be able to continue after facing a year of cancelled leisure cruises which provided much-needed income for the project and its ambitions to support the communities it comes into contact with.  The project was involved with initiatives in Cheshire, the Merseyside region and central Liverpool and was considered a valuable community asset offering a unique volunteering experience.

More than 100 volunteers are already involved in the project and now, as a result of the funding, The Danny will enable further community initiatives and provide unique training and development as part of a pivotal youth project.  New employment opportunities linked to the youth work will also be created and supported and the much-loved project, which has provided enrichment to its team for many years, will now continue for the next generation.

Other maritime and industrial heritage organisations receiving Culture Recovery Fund grants include the Canalside Heritage Centre, Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust, Rickmansworth Waterways Trust, Fly Navy Heritage Trust, Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College, Thames Explorer Trust, and Blyth Tall Ship. 

This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arm’s length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

Oliver Dowden CBE, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said:

“As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past.  This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said:

“It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial.  Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live.  All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time."

“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet.  But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”