National Football Museum receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

The National Football Museum has been awarded £515,965 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

The National Football Museum is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

The museum is the only one that tells the story of England’s national game. With a collection of over 40k objects and 100k images dating from the beginnings of Association Football, the subject matter reaches a wide range of visitors, many of whom don’t traditionally engage with other forms of culture. The funding will ensure the resilience of the organisation over the winter and allow it build on existing work with local communities. It will also ensure the organisation can diversify its workforce, collections and programming with a focus on women’s football, BAME, disability and LGBTQ+ football.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Tim Desmond, Chief Executive of the National Football Museum said:

“We’re delighted and extremely grateful to receive this award. Football is such an important part of the fabric of this country and we want to ensure that the work we do continues to inspire those who may not engage with other forms of culture.

“This funding allows us to change our organisation to meet the challenges over the coming months. It means we can put an even greater focus on inviting our local communities to help shape our future exhibitions and programmes and increase our ambition to tell the stories of those under-represented in the game. We want to be champions of diversity in the football and cultural sectors and we can now build on our pledge to ensure 50% representation of women in football by 2023 and increase the stories we tell around BLM.”