FIVE organisations in Wells and Glastonbury have been given funding to help them cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than £1million is being split between the following businesses: Glastonbury Abbey, Tour operating services - SG Prison Ltd, The Palace Trust, The Parochial Church Council of Glastonbury St John and Wells Cathedral.

Wells MP James Heappey said: : "Glastonbury and Wells have an abundance of culture which needs to be protected.

“They are at the heart of what makes this area so unique and are extremely important to the community.

“I hope this money helps with their recovery from Covid-19 and allows us to all continue to enjoy the fantastic culture of the Wells constituency.

“I am pleased to see the £1.57billion rescue package benefitting this area so significantly.”

This has been awarded as part of the Heritage Project Funding, which is part of the £1.57billion rescue package announced by the Secretary of State for Media, Culture and Sport.

Wells Cathedral is set to receive £201,300 to help keep the Cathedral open over the winter.

The funding will also be used to cover staff and equipment costs required to enable Covid-safe measures, and keep up essential maintenance for the unique buildings.

Somerset County Gazette:

LANDMARK: Wells Cathedral receives £201,300 of funding

The Very Reverend Dr John Davis, dean of Wells, said: “We are thrilled to have received support from the Culture Recovery Fund.

“Described as the ‘most poetic’ of the English Cathedrals, Wells Cathedral is home to a thriving spiritual, musical and historical ministry that stretches back nearly 850 years.

“As the earliest English Cathedral to have been built entirely in the Gothic style, Wells Cathedral is a significant landmark in the South West of England and has an international reputation.

“Since the pandemic began, we have faced huge challenges. The Cathedral’s usual income is projected to reduce by almost half for 2020.

“The funding awarded to us by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is essential – it will help the Cathedral maintain and protect important heritage, and keep it accessible to the public in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Glastonbury Abbey also plans to use the funding to help with Covid-safe adaptations and to improve and maintain the site.

Director of Glastonbury Abbey, Janet Bell, said: “This funding is a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.

“We are grateful to the department of Culture, Media & Sport, The UK Heritage fund and Historic England for their continuing support.”