Two major Southport landmarks given £325k lifeline

The Atkinson on Lord Street and Meols Hall in Churchtown will share over £325,000 in special lifeline grants designed to boost the recovery of the culture sector.

The Atkinson has been awarded £203,934 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

Meanwhile £125,000 will be given to Meols Hall in Churchtown.

Meols Hall dates back to the 15th century and has remained in the same hands for 27 generations.

After closing our doors in March 2020, The Atkinson re-opened both the museum and gallery spaces on 27 July 2020, operating on reduced hours and controlled visitor figures under the government’s guidelines around safe access.

The theatre and studio have remained closed, but the Culture Recovery Fund will allow us to re-open with a socially distanced pantomime over the Christmas period. It will support a range of additional safety features in relation to Covid-19 and will underpin The Atkinson’s operating costs, creating a model going forward.

This approach will allow us to stay in touch with our audiences and maintain a high profile in the region, while managing costs until the full range of services can be offered.

At Meols Hall the money will enable the landmark venue in Churchtown to secure ongoing restoration and conservation of items such as books and paintings.

It will also enable the endless replacement of the fabric of the house such as window frames, gutters and tiles.

All of these are ongoing necessities to keep Meols Hall as the owners have promised to – a gem of the North West, redolent with history and hope for the future. 

Meols Hall owner Catherine Hesketh said: We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded £125,000 from the National Heritage Culture Fund.

“This will enable us to provide for the treasured buildings and collection of Meols Hall.”