The National Motorcycle Museum in the UK has had their request for a COVID-19 support grant refused. The museum had applied for a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage which was established by the UK Government to provide funding to organisations that were financially stable before COVID-19.
At the end of October, the NMM received an e-mail from the Heritage Lottery Fund (who are partly responsible for administering the scheme) that their application "did not meet the criteria for the programme, and the board has decided not to award a grant through the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage".
This is not just a bitter blow to the museum but also to our motorcycling heritage. They had applied for funding in the under £1 Million category in order to help retain all of their expert team of people, as well as preserving the museum collection of British motorcycles as the largest in the world. These have now been put in jeopardy. Instead, the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £860,000 to the Postal museum, £400,000 to the Videogame museum, £240,000 to the Garden museum, and £200,808 to The World of Glass. A few other motoring museums got a grant - Brooklands (£950,000), Gaydon (£707,000), and Bovington (£780,000) for example - and even the British Commercial Vehicle museum got £183,600.
All the team at the museum want to thank everyone who has given to their own Covid-19 raffle and appeal since its launch in July. Everyone can be assured that the funds raised so far will go directly towards reopening the museum for a limited number of days each week sometime early in 2021. However, they are still a long way short of their £500k target, and this huge setback lends even more importance to their current appeal which includes the chance to win one of three classic bikes.