Derby

Coronavirus: Historic sites celebrate lockdown funding

Creswell Crags Image copyright Creswell Crags/Andy Platt
Image caption Creswell Crags is famous of its cave art and wildlife

Two Derbyshire heritage attractions have secured large National Lottery grants to cover losses incurred by the coronavirus lockdown.

Creswell Crags, a series of caves used during prehistoric times had faced "huge uncertainty" over its future when its income dried up.

Cromford Mills had to cancel dozens of events when England shut down in March.

Both have been awarded £250,000 from the Heritage Emergency Fund, which they described as "critical".

Image copyright The Arkwright Society
Image caption Cromford Mills lays claim to be one of the first factories of the Industrial Revolution

Creswell Heritage Trust had warned there was "huge uncertainty" over whether it would have the funds to reopen the site near Worksop.

A spokesman said: "The grant goes a long way towards ensuring the site's immediate survival.

"It is one of only three sites in the UK to receive the maximum pay out from the fund."

Cromford Mills, a pioneering set of factories build by early industrialist Sir Richard Arkwright in the late 18th Century, was also awarded £250,000.

The Arkwright Society tweeted its response: "A massive thank you to all.

"This funding is critical in helping us to be able to to welcome back our visitors."

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing.

"All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis."

Creswell Heritage Trust they look to open to visitors, in a phased reopening, beginning on 1st August.

The Arkwright Society said it was working hard to safely welcome visitors back soon.

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