The English Folk Dance and Song Society is delighted to have been awarded major funding of £77,300 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on heritage. The funding will enable the development of further digital resources for free use by everyone, as well as securing jobs and allowing the building to re-open safely for staff and visitors.
The support was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund, a total of £50million emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector. This UK-wide fund aims to address immediate emergency actions and also to help organisations to start thinking about recovery.
The National Lottery funding will support the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library’s work as England’s national folk music and dance archive, an essential resource for anybody interested in the folk arts. Its comprehensive online resources are already freely available to all, and this new funding for digital development will allow expansion of the Library’s unique Folk Song Subject Index; digitisation of even more items from the Society’s collections; improvement of web functionality; and closer integration of the Society’s carefully tailored teaching and learning resources.
Katy Spicer, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said: “We are delighted to receive this Heritage Emergency Fund support, and give grateful thanks to the National Lottery players who made it possible. It means that we can continue to share our rich and varied archives with everyone – of all ages, and from all backgrounds. Even more excitingly, this funding gives us the opportunity to expand further on our work, increasing our digital resources for everyone who is interested in the folk arts in England. With this endorsement, the National Lottery Heritage Fund have confirmed that folk music and dance are at a core part of our shared cultural heritage.”
Tiffany Hore, Library and Archives Director, said: “This funding enables us to move forward with projects which will ensure and improve access to the treasures of our archive, making this important material more visible and more discoverable. An archive should never be a mere repository, a store of historical artefacts relegated to a basement, but a living and breathing resource which teaches us about how our present came to be. We are delighted to receive this money from the Heritage Emergency Fund, which will allow us to increase and improve our digital presence, further laying open our resources to anyone who seeks to learn, whatever their background.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as the English Folk Dance and Song Society.”