Royal Institution welcomes funding from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

The Royal Institution (Ri) has been awarded nearly £600,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF), to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to help ensure it has a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The Ri is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced today. This follows £257 million awarded earlier in the week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

The award of £588,900 will be used to cover the Ri’s operating costs between January and March 2021. As result, it helps to maintain the Ri’s free museum and it’s internationally significant collection of scientific artefacts, and to continue its charitable mission to create opportunities for everyone to discover, discuss and critically examine science and the way in which it shapes the world around us.

Since the Ri first closed in late March, it has developed a successful programme of weekly science talks online, replicating the experience of its world-famous theatre, in living rooms around the world. Once live-streamed the talks are hosted on the Ri’s well-established YouTube channel and the news of today’s funding award comes in the same week as the charity notched up its 900,000th YouTube subscriber.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:“This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.

“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries. 

“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis.  We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”

Lucinda Hunt, Director of the Royal Institution, said: “Since the necessary Covid-19 restrictions forced us to close our doors for the first time since the Blitz 80 years ago, our income has been decimated.

“As an independent charity we are reliant on that income, so the funding announced today will help us to continue the digital engagement with science we have worked so hard to develop during lockdown.

“We can move forward with plans to increase the number of livestreamed science talks we host and develop new digital content, while protecting our internationally significant collection of scientific apparatus, books and papers on behalf of the nation.

“We are grateful to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport for this funding, as we are for the contributions of all those who are supporting the Ri.”

As an independent charity, the Ri’s education and science engagement activities are dependent on income it can raise itself. The necessary Covid-19 restrictions have decimated that income. Like many small charities and cultural organisations, the Ri has furloughed the vast majority of its staff since the beginning of April. In August it announced a consultation with staff on redundancies and reduced working hours in a bid to further reduce costs.

The Ri will continue to seek support for flagship projects such as the annual CHRISTMAS LECTURES and will launch a public fundraising campaign in due course, in an attempt to further reverse the significant deficit it is projecting this financial year.


For more information please contact Robert Davies in the Ri press office:+44 (0)7730 530185 /

Notes to Editors

About the Royal Institution

The Royal Institution’s (Ri) vision is for a world where everyone is inspired to think more deeply about science and its place in our lives. Home to eminent scientists such as Michael Faraday, Humphry Davy, Kathleen Lonsdale and John Tyndall, its discoveries have helped to shape the modern world. Just as importantly these scientists recognised the importance of sharing their work with the wider public.

Today it continues its mission to build on its heritage and create opportunities for everyone to discover, discuss and critically examine science and how it shapes the world around us. An independent registered charity, the Ri provides science education, public engagement, and heritage activities for people of all ages and backgrounds across the UK and around the world. These activities include the world-famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES; public talks from the world's greatest thinkers in its historic lecture theatre; a successful YouTube channel with 900,000+ subscribers, a national programme of Ri Masterclasses for young people in mathematics, engineering and computer science; hands-on science workshops in its L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre; award winning animations and films; and the preservation of its scientific legacy through the Faraday Museum and archival collections.

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Packagewith nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of several bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and unprecedented support package of £1.57 billion for the culture and heritage sector. Find out more at