Heritage grant 'saves' Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace lit up at night

Alexandra Palace has been awarded a £2.9 million grant from the Government fund to preserve the nation's heritage sites over the pandemic - Credit: Lloyd Winters

Lauren Laverne is among the fans of Ally Pally who have welcomed news of a £2.9 million Government grant. 

The payout from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage will enable the Trust to maintain the listed Palace and 196 acre Park during the pandemic and to deliver cultural events and creative learning activities for some of the most vulnerable people in the community. 

Laverne, local resident and long term supporter of the 'people's palace', said: “This is such fantastic news. 

“Ally Pally is so many things – an iconic music and arts venue, a vital hub for sport and cultural events and a beautiful green space with parkland the whole community can enjoy.  

“Knowing its doors can stay open and that the music will play on is just wonderful.” 

In November, the palace warned its future was under threat without emergency grant funding.

READ MORE: ‘Very real’ risk Alexandra Palace could shut down without government grant, warns Muswell Hill chief exec

Now, with the funding secured, Ros Kerslake, CEO of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "Like so many organisations that rely on visitor income from events, from snooker to summer festivals, the Trust was facing a perilous future due to the COVID-19 crisis.  

“We are delighted to be part of helping them to survive and thrive through this difficult time." 

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Nigel Huddleston, Heritage Minister called the Palace “a cultural icon that has allowed us to witness so many legendary moments over the years”.  

"I am delighted that we have been able to support the site so it may continue to make history for years to come." 

Since March, Ally Pally has adapted to stage drive through opera and film screenings, live comedy on its summer beer terrace and now indoor live entertainment including children's theatre show The Gruffalo's Child this Christmas.

Ally Pally trust CEO Louise Stewart said: "Over the past 140 years Alexandra Palace has been home to some of the most iconic moments in modern entertainment history.  

“The grant, together with support from Haringey Council and donations from the public, means that we can continue this legacy.  

“It will ensure that these unique heritage assets, the Palace and Park, are cared for and we can deliver more experiences that entertain, inspire and educate.  

“There are many challenges ahead, but for now at least, we have some time and resource to deliver our route to recovery.”

READ MORE: ‘Very real’ risk Alexandra Palace could shut down without government grant, warns Muswell Hill chief exec

READ MORE: ‘This is a massive challenge’: Alexandra Palace faces £1m funding gap as it asks public to help plug lockdown shortfall