The Leeds Library to receive £28,100 from the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

  • The Leeds Library is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award will help to support the Library reopen its doors on the 12th April and extend its opening ours to members and visitors over the coming months 

 The Leeds Library has received a grant of £28,100 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including The Leeds Library in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The Leeds Library is one of the heritage gems of the city, and the oldest membership subscription Library still in existence in the British Isles. This award will help support the Library in reopening its doors on the 12th April and extend its opening hours to members and visitors over the coming months so that more people can engage with its collections and unique heritage story.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

This brings the Government’s total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Carl Hutton, CEO of The Leeds Library said:

“Thanks to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund we can now look to invest in our heritage and open up the Library quickly not just for our members but also for visitors over the coming months so they can engage with our heritage story. We’re grateful that the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline for us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

 “Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and            hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor            attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support                         DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild          and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal                             wellbeing.” 

 Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:

 “The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply                        demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark             days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them   survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen                in the months ahead.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England.

Notes to Editors

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

 Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.  Follow @HeritageFundUK on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

About Historic England

We are Historic England, the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.

About the Leeds Library

The Leeds Library is the oldest membership subscription Library of its type and was founded in 1768 by amongst others, Joseph Priestley.  The Library has over 1000 members and delivers a year-long programme of outreach and events for the people of Leeds which included the award-winning Leeds Lit Fest of which the Library is lead partner. The Library will be reopening to members on 12th April, 6 days a week. It is situated in the heart of the city on Commercial Street.

Read more about the Leeds Library in the latest edition of its newsletter, Speaks Volumes or go to the website:

Follow @theleedslibrary on Twitter and Facebook.

For further information about The Leeds Library, images and interview opportunities, please contact: Carl Hutton at

Events at The Leeds Library