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TopFoto receives UK Gov lifeline grant

Photo: Behind the scenes at Topfoto picture library, Edenbridge, Kent, UK. Photographer Christy Low, July 2016

Kent based photo library TopFoto has today announced they are one of the 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Almost 450 heritage organisations in England, including the TopFoto archive have been awarded cash from the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage
  • Grants of up to £1 million will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund
  • First major tranche of funding from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

TopFoto’s award is in the under £100,000 grant category and is committed to new accommodation for the archive, curatorial services, public engagement, collections work and preparation for future exhibitions.

Flora Smith, Managing Partner, TopFoto, told PAN: “One of the hard decisions we are facing, as a successful yet small digital picture agency, is how to cope with and protect our priceless heritage asset of undigitised prints, acetate and glass negatives during this period of social and economic turmoil.  We are custodians of a vital part of the visual cultural memory of the nation, and one of the most significant collections in private ownership in Europe.”

“The pandemic has required us to move locations and our much loved gallery has had to close but the grant we have received from the Culture Recovery Fund will enable us to move the archive securely, transform the digital and research capabilities of the collections, accelerate key heritage partnerships for public engagement, diversity and history, as well as recalibrate the role of our archive in the wider heritage ecosystem, in the UK and globally, ready for a brighter future.  We are so grateful to the Government, the DCMS and the Heritage Lottery Fund for this visionary support.”

PAN has been invited to visit the new TopFoto office in the new year…will let you know what we find.

UPI London acetate negatives at Topfoto picture library, Edenbridge, Kent, UK. Photographer Christy Low, July 2016

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said:
“It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial.  Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live.  All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.”

“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet.  But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”

The fashion print files at Topfoto picture library, Edenbridge, Kent, UK. Photograph Christy Low, July 2016

More on the grant here


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