Harry Potter & Downton Abbey sites to receive grants to avoid dilapidation
Gloucester Cathedral best known for the school used as Hogwarts for the Harry Potter franchise and Highclere Castle used in both the movie and the series of Downtown Abbey are now to receive grants from a new culture recovery fund for heritage.
The government plans to hand out more than 100 million euros to protect heritage sites from disrepair and job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, also in line to receive the grant is the South Yorkshire mansion, Wentworth Woodhouse which doubled for Buckingham Palace in the Winston Churchill biopic, Darkest Hour. It was in this masterpiece that earned Gary Oldman an Oscar for the starring role.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden while announcing the hand-outs said that these grants would act as a lifeline for a total of 445 heritage organisations. A total of 1.57 billion euros in cultural recovery funds have been announced. According to him, as a nation, it is essential that they preserve the heritage and also celebrate and learn for their pasts.
He added that this massive support package will also protect the shared heritage for future generations all by saving jobs and helping them to prepare for a cultural “bounce-back” post-COVID-19.
The iconic Gloucester Cathedral and its cloisters feel quite familiar as it was used in several scenes of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter franchise. It was also home to the original door to the Gryffindor Common Room. It is infamously known for the corridor scene where the ominous words, “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened!” were written in the cat Mrs. Norris’s blood.
The Highclere Castle which is located near Newbury, which was used for the exterior shots and some indoor shots in Downtown Abbey, resulted in the visitations of 60,000 tourists a year. This had to be closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.
Blackpool's Winter Gardens, the entertainment complex that for many years hosted political party conferences, the Blyth Tall Ship restoration project in Northumberland, Severn Valley Railway, the International Bomber Command Centre Memorial in Lincolnshire, and the Piece Hall in Halifax, a former cloth market now a tourist attraction hosting TV shows like Antiques Roadshow, etc. will also be benefiting from the grant.