A Grade I listed building, Shire Hall served as Dorset’s courthouse from 1797 until 1955. Now an award-winning social justice museum in the heart of Dorset, Shire Hall brings over 200 years of justice and injustice to life.


Abbie King, Director of Shire Hall, said:


“We’re thrilled that Shire Hall has been awarded £167,500 from the third round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. This funding will allow us secure the future of Shire Hall and ensure that we continue to thrive in a post pandemic economy. We’re proud to be custodians of this historic building and to share stories of justice and injustice with our visitors.


“Shire Hall is also committed to supporting our local community. From our work with people living with dementia, local LGBT youth groups and schools to showcasing local businesses in our shop and at our markets, this funding will allow us to continue enriching and supporting thousands of lives.”


Nearly 140 heritage organisations in England will benefit from £15.5 million this Christmas thanks to the government’s unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.

A total of £138 million has been awarded to heritage organisations from the three rounds of the government’s £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund support package made available for arts, culture and heritage organisations during the pandemic. This third round of grants are part of the additional £300 million announced by the Chancellor at March’s Budget.


Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said:


“I’m delighted that this vital funding from our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund is giving so many brilliant heritage organisations a helping hand this winter. I want everyone to enjoy what our fascinating and diverse heritage has to offer and with this money we’re safeguarding these organisations for generations to come.”


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


“This latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage provides a welcome Christmas boost for Heritage organisations. With the situation changing daily, the funding will be crucial in helping heritage sites navigate their seasonal activities ensuring the safety of their visitors and their communities. The grants will also support organisations in implementing business plans as they work round the challenges for the coming year, helping financial sustainability and driving tourism so that we can look to a bright future for our heritage sector.”


Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England said:


“We are delighted that the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage grants continue to keep so many heritage organisations going. From major historic buildings to small community organisations promoting local heritage – all deserve this support, to continue to open up to everyone the opportunities that our shared history creates.”


Investing in heritage will support Covid19 economic recovery and make communities better places to live, creating jobs, driving tourism and improving wellbeing. The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is administered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, in partnership with Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.