A POPULAR tourist venue outside Whitchurch is set to receive a financial boost from the government as part of a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

Combermere Abbey is one of 445 organisations to receive a share £103 million to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

The abbey has received £45,000 to introduce super-fast broadband and associated technology onto the estate, enabling its events business to recover and develop, as well as the creation of a video of the history and restoration which will promote the region more widely.

Sarah Callander Beckett, owner of Combermere Abbey, admitted the money will play a huge part in getting the venue back on its feet.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to be a recipient of this Culture Recovery Grant.

"The Abbey is one of south Cheshire’s pre-eminent historic buildings deep in a rural setting, and have cancelled all public tours, visits and events this year with the resulting substantial financial loss.

“These monies mean that our earlier plans to invest in improved broadband and telecoms, in order to promote our estate more widely and which had been put on hold, will now be possible this year.

"Also, we will be able to create the story of Combermere’s 900-year history on video and make it available for all our visitors promoting Cheshire to the wider UK and beyond.

"Thank you to Historic England and Historic Houses for giving us this opportunity – it is a fabulous gift.”

This vital funding is 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.

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has also been awarded a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund through Historic England. The AHF will use the funding to support charities and social enterprises occupying historic buildings to develop new business plans and strategies for organisations affected by the pandemic.

Culture Secretary Olive Dowden adds: “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.”