A SOMERSET heritage site has received more funding to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bishops Palace in Wells has been given £364,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.

The grant will be used to cover staff costs, Covid-19 safe alterations and digital updates.

Rosie Martin, chief executive of The Palace Trust said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have received this vital funding.

“After suffering catastrophic losses earlier in the year, we had serious concerns about our ability to keep the site open to the public.

“This funding means that we can continue to employ all of our staff and to make appropriate changes to ensure that they can work safely.

“In turn, this means that we will be able to keep this wonderful heritage site open to all to benefit from and enjoy.

“We’ve seen that visitors and locals have a new found appreciation for our stunning gardens and we hear that spending time at our site is contributing to people’s sense of wellbeing at this difficult time.

“We will also be investing some funding into our digital infrastructure to ensure that we can maintain our digital engagement with our audiences.”

The palace also received £250,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund earlier this year.

READ MORE: Bishops Palace in Wells receives lottery cash boost

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial.

“Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live.

“All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.

“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet.

“But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”

This funding comes from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by Government and administered at arm’s length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

More than 450 heritage organisations will share £103 million.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past.

“This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounce-back post Covid-19.”