In 2019 Liverpool Cathedral, the fifth-biggest in the world, welcomed more than 800,000 visitors but the COVID-19 crisis has hit its incomes and the new grant helps safeguard jobs. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool Cathedral says it will be able to safeguard jobs after securing a £600,000 grant from the Government.
One of the city leading visitor attractions, the cathedral saw more than 800,000 people come through its doors in 2019 – almost double the 450,000 it welcomed in 2016. As the biggest cathedral in the UK and the fifth-biggest in the world, it is a global attraction.
In September it received a People’s Choice Award after reviews on TripAdvisor placed the it in the top 10% of attractions worldwide. However, it has suffered along with the rest of the visitor economy during the COVID-19 crisis. The Very Revd Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool, said 2020 had been the “most difficult year of my Christian ministry”.
Now Liverpool Cathedral has secured the Cultural Recovery Grant from the Department of Digital Culture, Media & Sport it will enable it to safeguard the jobs of its staff and offer it “a bit more security in an uncertain world”.
In a statement, the cathedral said: “Like so many Liverpool institutions and businesses the cathedral faced large deficits and has had to take strong measures to secure our financial footing.
“Recognising our role as an employer in an economically deprived area we have worked hard to preserve jobs… We believe this grant reflects the importance of both cathedrals in the cultural, tourism, economic and spiritual life of the city.
“However, we recognise the difficulties so many institutions face in Liverpool and we would urge the Government to support all sectors as much as possible. This grant is helpful but we still need to be creative in generating the resources we need to survive.”
It added that the cathedral was continuing to look for new ways to meet its running costs and support the vital work of Micah Liverpool in providing food for people in disadvantaged communities and providing much-needed routes into employment.
Dr Jones added: “It is gratifying to receive some help for us to remain serving the city in the many ways we do. We had already taken great steps to survive through this time and there is much still to do. But this lifeline will help us to recover, to secure vital jobs, and to keep reaching out to the city.
“We are always mindful that we were built by the people, for the people and we want this grant to continue to help us serve Liverpool through being a catalyst for other investment, a place to attract people to the city, and a spiritual and cultural focus for the city as we build towards Christmas.”