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28 July 2020

Cartoon Musuem gets £100k lottery funding to help safeguard future

We are delighted to report that The Cartoon Museum has been awarded a grant of £98,700 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to support the museum in combatting the severe financial threat resulting from the museum’s closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Cartoon Museum closed on 18 March 2020. As an independent museum with no regular government funding, 75% of our yearly income is through the door – admissions, shop purchases, schools and venue bookings. As a result, the Museum closure has resulted in the loss of nearly 50% of the museum’s yearly income.

With the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the museum can now begin to recover from the closure period, and plan to reopen. This includes ensuring the safety of our staff and visitors through social distancing and PPE measures, securing our collection, and working on new digital and socially-distanced activities and exhibitions.

The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

The UK-wide fund will address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Director Joe Sullivan said:

“We are incredibly grateful that the National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us through such a difficult time. Their support will safeguard the immediate future of the museum site and our staff’s jobs, and go a long way to securing our long-term sustainability. We want to say a huge thank you to all Lottery players for their support.

We are very lucky that the National Lottery Heritage Fund also supported our Comic Creators project from 2015 – 2019, enabling us to collect over 400 pieces of key British comic art. It is humbling to receive additional funding now, and it is a real vote of confidence for the museum and our unique, nationally-important collection of British cartoons, comics and caricatures. We look forward to welcoming back our visitors as soon as is possible.”

Chair of Trustees Oliver Preston said:

“We are hugely grateful for the £98,700 donation from the NLHF.  After what has been a very worrying 3 months, the museum can now see light at the end of the tunnel. We reopened our doors in 2019 after an £1.1million refurbishment, and this museum of laughter has an exciting new programme of exhibitions and events and is looking forward to welcoming new audiences and old friends with a sense of hope and optimism.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as The Cartoon Museum during this uncertain time.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is currently open to applications for its Heritage Emergency Fund. To find out more visit:

To find out more about the National Lottery Good Causes visit:


About The Cartoon Museum

The Cartoon Museum champions cartoon and comic art, highlighting its importance to culture and society. Since 2006 it has received 420k visitors, and built a nationally important collection of 4,300 cartoons, comics and caricatures, and a library of 18k items. The Cartoon Museum runs a well-attended school programme and sell-out school holiday workshops, and over 50k children and adults have attended cartooning, comics and animation workshops at the museum.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive change for people and communities, now and in the future. #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

The Heritage Emergency Fund remains open for applications for grants ranging from £3,000 to £250,000 until 31 July 2020. Extra advice and support and longer-term skills and capacity building initiatives has also been made available for the heritage sector. Read more about The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s response to the Covid-19 emergency.

About the National Lottery

  • Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community.
  • National Lottery players contribute around £30 million to good causes every week.
  • The National Lottery has made more than 5,500 millionaires but its primary purpose is giving to good causes - over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK, that’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district.

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