River & Rowing Museum Awarded Culture Recovery Fund Due to COVID

2 April 2021

In a press release from this morning, the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames announced that the Museum has been awarded vital support from the British Government’s Culture Recovery Fund after having been dramatically impacted by COVID-19.

River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, whose income has seen a devastating 60% drop compared to previous years owing to the COVID crisis and impact of lockdown, has been awarded a lifeline of support from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Among the 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, the River & Rowing Museum will receive £152,071 from the fund.

The award will help the Museum to recover and reopen on 20 May (tickets on sale from 27 April) in line with government guidance, and to adapt to the post-COVID environment whilst continuing important fundraising to secure the Museum’s future.

“We want our Museum and its collections to continue to be at the heart of our communities – both as a Museum for a physical visit and as a fantastic resource online. This will include growing our work with volunteers, adapting the Museum’s offer for COVID-secure outdoor delivery, expanding our partnership with the Rivertime Boat Trust, which support SEND [Students with Special Educational needs and/or Disabilities] education, and reaching more and more schools through online learning,” Jon O’Donoghue, the Museum’s new Head of Public Engagement, said in a statement.  

As the Museum reopens, art lovers and fans of John Piper will delight in an exciting new display in the Museum’s nationally significant John Piper Gallery. Visitors will also be able to catch the Museum’s much-loved exhibition, cut short by lockdown, Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee –now extended until 21 June 2021.

 Other plans for Spring-Summer 2021 at the Museum include launching a fabulously refreshed Wind in the Willows Gallery, and the display of a significant medieval pendant, part of a major local treasure discovery in 2019.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this vital support from the Culture Recovery Fund. As a charity with no ongoing public funding, the COVID crisis has had a very damaging effect on our Museum’s income,” David Worthington, River & Rowing Museum’s Chair of Trustees, said. “This very welcome grant will help our small team make the significant adaptations needed to take the organisation into the new post-COVID environment. In the meantime, we continue our fundraising drive to help us to sustain our important work in sharing the art and stories of the river, to help cover our operational costs and to offset these substantial losses.”

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