The Eden Project has hailed a £249,500 grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through Arts Council England as a huge boost for the organisation and its visitors as it aims to bounce back from a five-month closure.

This award, through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, will enable Eden to bring a core creative team back from furlough to work with freelance practitioners, adapting and re-opening galleries and creating Covid-compliant spaces for performance.

The Eden Project is set to reopen to visitors on May 17. The grant will help Eden to develop and deliver a lively arts and culture programme for the half-term holidays which start later that month. The grant will also enable refurbishment of artworks and galleries to ensure that they are Covid-compliant.

Dr Jo Elworthy, Eden’s director of interpretation, said today: “Like so many other cultural organisations, we’ve had the toughest of tough year’s so we’re absolutely delighted to hear from Arts Council England that our application has been successful.

“This is great news for the team, the creative sector and our community – a huge boost. It means that we’ll be able to provide further employment and start to fire up our arts and culture programme as we reopen.”

A number of other projects in Cornwall are also benefiting from the fund, including The Poly in Falmouth.

Sue Radmore, chair of trustees, said: “We’re so grateful and relieved to have again been chosen by Arts Council England to receive more vital funding. The ongoing threat from Covid-19 and the recurring lockdowns have made it incredibly difficult to plan ahead in any meaningful way.  A historic venue like The Poly, with its Grade II listed status, requires constant attention to the building, and even when all our usual income streams are pulling together we face a huge challenge.”

And Truro Cathedral will receive £72.3k, which will support improvements in its visitor experience, staff costs, equipment and allow the testing of some new events at the cathedral.