Creswell Crags set for a brighter future thanks to £275,000 Government grant

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A much-loved Derbyshire attraction – under threat of closure a year ago – is celebrating a more secure future thanks to a £275,000 grant

Creswell Crags – which warned it may face permanent closure when the pandemic struck a year ago – has been awarded £279,766 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Creswell Heritage Trust, the charity which operates Creswell Crags, is among more than 2, 700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion fund.Thie money will support the trust as it looks ahead to reopening, as well as funding a review of site access in a bid to improve its inclusivity.

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It will also allow the trust to build on work to improving its exhibition spaces and the potential of UNESCO World Heritage Site status – the site is home to the only Ice Age cave art in the UK, more than 13,000 years old, .

Paul Baker, Creswell Crags executive director, said: “The lockdown has provided us with the opportunity to reflect upon how we can better serve our visitors and online audiences.

“This funding will not only enable us to survive, but also provide us with the time to make improvements, be more strategic and offer an experience that has a real impact with our audiences.

“We are immensely grateful to everyone who has supported us throughout the pandemic, from the large funders such as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to everyone, our friends and supporters who has donated to our campaign.

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“We can’t wait to see Creswell Crags come back to life with happy visitors, and to share more stories of our Ice Age past.”

Visitors inside Creswell Crags.Visitors inside Creswell Crags.
Visitors inside Creswell Crags.
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Successful fundraising campaign

Just a year ago, staff and trustees at the museum and prehistoric gorge were facing the prospect of permanent closure, when the Covid-19 lockdown ended visitor income.

Staff were furloughed as the charity launched a fundraising campaign, which proved successful as £25,000 was collected on a JustGiving page and it was awarded £250,000 in emergency cash from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

'Witch marks' at Creswell Crags.'Witch marks' at Creswell Crags.
'Witch marks' at Creswell Crags.

Now it is looking forward to reopening after lockdown.

It plans to open its car park on Easter Monday, a takeaway service from the café on April 12, with the museum, gift shop and private cave tours reopening on May 17.

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