National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant

National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant

September 2020

Wells Cathedral has received £47,700 in National Lottery support to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on heritage.

Wells Cathedral has received £47,700 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help address the enormous impact the Coronavirus crisis has had on its work and finances.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began, Wells Cathedral has faced huge challenges. During full lockdown, the Cathedral was closed for 12 weeks. Since then, as lockdown has eased, a skeleton staff has worked flat out to adapt and offer socially distanced access in line with requirements. But despite this an estimated 118,000 people have been unable to visit the Cathedral since the crisis began. The financial impact of reduced visitor numbers and donations, plus the costs of adapting to Covid19, are enormous. To tackle this Wells Cathedral is applying for a raft of grants; has used the assistance offered by the government; and has introduced spending cuts. Its Bounce Back Appeal, launched in June, has raised over £70,000 in generous donations from the local community and beyond.

“Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can now bring more of our staff back from furlough, fund equipment needed to safely further open up the Cathedral under the ‘new normal’ and work to re-deploy our army of dedicated volunteers to support visitors. All this is vital to re-start income generation and ensure we can safeguard our unique heritage.  We’re grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.”

The Very Reverend Dr John Davies, Dean of Wells.


The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50 million was made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector. The UK-wide fund aimed to address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

“Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal well being. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as Wells Cathedral during this uncertain time.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Like Wells Cathedral, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund is now closed for applications. To find out more about how The National Heritage Emergency Fund is supporting the sector at this time please visit:

To find out more about the National Lottery Good Causes , visit:

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Wells Cathedral is open to all visitors from 7am - 6pm daily. All are welcome.