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Cumbrian arts and heritage organisation share in a £56 million Catalyst: endowments scheme
Concept designs for the Windermere Steamboat Museum.

CUMBRIA.- Thirty four arts and heritage organisations across England including Cumbrian based Lakeland Arts Trust are set to get a share of a £162 million funding boost after successfully applying for a share of a new £56 million scheme to support endowments.

The Catalyst: Endowments programme is a joint initiative between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Designed to bring new money into the cultural sector, the programme offers match-funding to help arts and heritage organisations become more sustainable and resilient by building a new endowment fund or developing an existing one, in order to increase their annual income.

The funding will support the Lakeland Arts Trust in a fundraising campaign to secure a £1M endowment for the Windermere Steamboat Museum: for every £1 given towards the endowment, Catalyst will match with an additional £1, effectively doubling donations. The fund itself will not be spent, but will generate an income annually, through investments, that will support the Museum and its work in perpetuity. Gifts to this fund will continue to support the Museum's collection, restorations and learning work, forever. The award recognizes the importance of the Steamboat Museum project, and the success of the Trust thus far in raising funds to enable the museum to be built and the world-class fleet of boats to be restored.

Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of the Lakeland Arts Trust, said: 'We are thrilled to be successful in both of the Catalyst funding bids: the endowment support will provide a huge incentive for people to give to the Steamboat endowment appeal, as their gift will be doubled with match funding, whilst the Capacity Building support means we can strengthen our core fundraising work, strengthening and building on our success to ensure Abbot Hall and Blackwell continue to thrive.'

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said: 'Long term financial stability is an essential part of a successful cultural sector. With these grants, and the additional money they are bringing in, I'm delighted that we've been able to get a significant number of organisations on the road to long-lasting and sustainable endowments which will continue to support their work for years to come.'

Michael Portillo said: 'The Advisory Panel was impressed with the calibre of the applications we saw. I believe those we recommended for approval are well-placed to secure match funding from donors, and to build endowments which should strengthen their future financial resilience.'

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: 'The Catalyst: Endowments Programme is part of our response to helping boost private giving across the heritage sector. Alongside our plans to build the fundraising capacity of smaller groups, we expect the programme to form part of a shift in approach to philanthropic giving that will help build financial resilience and attract new money to heritage groups of every size.'

Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of Arts Council England said: 'Public funding of the arts in this country is at the heart of their success. It enables organisations to attract private investors, and gives them the confidence to continue to take the bold artistic leaps that keep audiences coming.' 'Catalyst Endowments and Catalyst Arts will help support that public investment, increasing the sustainability of our world class arts organisations who bring delight to millions and play such an important part in our national economy.'

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