Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund


Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust (SIMT) has been awarded £98,978 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 a sustainable future.

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced today. This follows £257 million awarded last week to 1,385 organisations, also from 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 coronavirus pandemic has had a huge effect on the three SIMT sites: Kelham Island Museum, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and Shepherd Wheel Workshop.  Months of closure has resulted in a significant loss of income through admissions, school visits, events, corporate hire and weddings.

Kelham Island Museum reopened in August with new measures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and visitors and to keep the museum a COVID secure space. These include pre-booked tickets, a new one-way route, frequent cleaning schedules throughout the day and hand sanitising stations.

The CRF grant will enable SIMT to sustain the reopening of Kelham Island Museum by supporting the visitor services staff team, our education and learning services and the conservation engineering teams to enable the trust to provide a visitor welcome and cultural experience. The grant will help the trust to undertake a range of initiatives to refocus and adapt the schools programme and to strengthen the public events offer, with aims to build visitor numbers back up to more sustainable levels.

Fiona Elliott, Interim Director, said:

“We are delighted to have received this grant. It will enable us to keep the important heritage of Sheffield cared for and accessible for the people of Sheffield. Being able to provide cultural activities, and to help people to explore our past is important for the wellbeing of our City. This is true at any time, but particularly now more than ever.”


Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.

“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”


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

“Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries. 

“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis.  We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”


Visitors can find out more about how SIMT are welcoming visitors back safely at: