The capital’s re-opened transport museum has secured government funding after 355 days without opening due to the pandemic
London Transport Museum has received £450,000 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to boost its long-term recovery after being closed for a total of 355 days during the pandemic. It is one of 925 recipients to receive a share of more than £100 million in the latest round of support, the Culture Secretary has announced. The £450,000 grant, administered by Arts Council England, will mean the London Transport Museum can invest in new programming and grow its commercial activity. It will help the museum fund the creation of its new exhibition ‘Legacies: London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce’, continue the delivery of its learning programmes and support the ongoing relaunch of the its successful Hidden London tours.
Prior to the pandemic, the London Transport Museum generated 80% of its own income. When the lockdown forced it to close, the Covent Garden venue took a significant financial hit. Since reopening in May this year, it has welcomed back around 68% of its pre-pandemic visitor numbers, but with international travel and tourism still limited the Museum said its long-term recovery remains fragile. The Museum said that rebuilding its long-term sustainability is vital to its work as an education and heritage charity. It will ensure the ongoing preservation of its historic collection and delivery of its learning programmes. This includes its Climate Crossroads initiative to promote a greener future for the Capital and its Enjoyment to Employment scheme.
In collaboration with industry partners, Enjoyment to Employment inspires young people to pursue transport and engineering careers. It offers interactive STEM workshops for schools and introduces pupils to real-world engineers. It also provides young Londoners with free employability training and supports them to secure transport apprenticeships and jobs. Sam Mullins OBE, Director of London Transport Museum, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to DCMS and the Arts Council for standing by London Transport Museum, which captures the story of the vital role public transport has always played in shaping London and keeping the city moving. As we plan for the year ahead, this new Culture Recovery Fund grant is supporting a truly sustainable recovery. It will see us continue to re-build after the devastating impact of the pandemic and invest in new programming. When cultural attractions reopened earlier this year it signalled brighter times ahead. Their ongoing recovery is critical to our towns and city centres, as well as the wider UK economy and the country’s wellbeing.”
Over £1.2 billion has already been awarded from the Culture Recovery Fund, supporting around 5,000 individual organisations and sites across the country ranging from local museums to West End theatres, grassroots music venues to festivals, and organisations in the cultural and heritage supply-chains. The new Legacies: London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce exhibition is scheduled to open on 11 February next year. This celebrates the contribution people of Caribbean descent have made to London’s transport history and present-day London. Visitors will discover stories and memories from first, second and third generation Caribbean people, from those who worked for London Transport in the 1950s and 1960s to today’s employees. New films, archive images, historic advertising posters, and never-before-displayed objects will be on show.