One of Cumbria’s most iconic visitor attractions, Ullswater ‘Steamers’, has received a grant of £425,000 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help it recover and reopen.
Almost £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country – in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund – announced today.
The money is a lifeline for Ullswater ‘Steamers’, which has one of the largest heritage passenger vessel fleets in England. This includes the oldest working passenger vessel in the world, Lady of the Lake.
The family-owned attraction has been operating in the tranquil Ullswater Valley since 1859 but has been badly impacted by the pandemic.
It is currently hoping to reopen on Friday April 16, with tickets due to go on sale online next week.
Mark Horton, Ullswater ‘Steamers’ general manager, said: “I am delighted that Ullswater ‘Steamers’ have been recognised as being such a significant part of our regional and national culture and heritage.
“This funding will enable us to maintain the high standards of maintenance and presentation that we are well known for, and to bounce back far more quickly from the devastating effects of this awful pandemic.”
David Little, chief executive of Lake District Estates, added: “This grant from the National Lottery is very welcome news as we prepare to reopen Ullswater ‘Steamers’.
“During the national lockdowns, the ‘Steamers’ – as with other businesses – had to close.
“This was difficult enough in itself, but with the social distancing restrictions still in place as we aim to reopen, the capacity reductions still continue to make it financially very difficult.
“This grant will go some way to help protect our future as we start to rebuild and recover.”
Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “Ullswater ‘Steamers’ is a long-established tourism attraction, which is synonymous with the Lake District.
“It has been a horrendous 12 months, but it is great to see the attraction recognised by the Culture Recovery Fund and I know many people will be looking forward to returning to Ullswater very soon to experience the lake for themselves and to make some fantastic new memories in an inspirational and COVID-safe setting.”