Brighton & Hove City Council Leader Phélim Mac Cafferty has welcomed news that the Regency Town House museum has been awarded a 'Respond & Reimagine' grant from the Art Fund.
The Grade 1 listed house in Brunswick Square is currently being restored to its former glory by a team of volunteers to become a heritage centre and museum.
The project is being funded through The Brunswick Town Charitable Trust, a registered charity set up to support the project in 1994.
Councillor Mac Cafferty, who represents Brunswick and Adelaide Ward, commented: “I’m delighted that the Regency Town House has been selected for an Art Fund Grant.
"It’s a fitting tribute to the team of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, headed up by the tireless Nick Tyson, who have worked so hard to bring this project to life.
"The funding will provide a lifeline for the house which, like museums and art galleries across the country, has been severely affected by the current Covid crisis.
“The Regency Town House plays a crucial role in understanding the history of our city, as well as providing a unique and much-loved arts venue.”
While the doors are currently closed and events cancelled, the volunteers have been staging online exhibitions which can be viewed on the Regency Town House website.
Art Fund is the national charity for art. Respond & Reimagine is Art Fund’s dedicated Covid-19 support fund for museums and galleries, designed to support innovative projects, proposed by the museums, to help them adapt to the challenges of Covid-19.
Art Fund Director Jenny Waldman said: “Respond & Reimagine was hugely competitive – we were only able to fund 17% of all applicants, and so a grant represents, in our judgment, some of the best and most imaginative museum and gallery practice in the UK.
“Museums are an essential part of our local infrastructure and play a crucial role in our communities and local economies. It’s vital that we recognise that we all have a role to play in ensuring they survive.”
She added that the grant is part of over £3 million made available in dedicated funding to help museums adapt to Covid-19 and reimagine future ways of working.
Last month, Art Fund launched a new crowdfunding appeal, Together for Museums (#TogetherforMuseums), which aims to raise £1 million and help even more museums that desperately need support.
Museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK are facing a crisis due to the impact of Covid-19, with six in ten (60%) reporting in a recent survey that they are worried about their survival.
National and local lockdowns, combined with physical distancing limiting visitors, have been catastrophic. Despite this, only half (55%) have received emergency funding to date, with 56% of those saying they would have gone under if they had not received it.