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Thanks to you!! Lottery funding safeguards the future of Edinburgh Printmakers

Edinburgh Printmakers is thrilled to have been awarded a grant of £124,000 from the Heritage Emergency Fund to help us support our staff and make our first steps towards reopening our studios at Castle Mills.

The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million was made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

Edinburgh Printmakers closed its doors due to the COVID19 lockdown on 20th March 2020, less than a year after opening. We have lost 75% of our income, cancelled our exhibition and training programmes and furloughed our staff in order to try and safeguard our future financial position.

The grant will support us over the next four months and help us to put safety measures in place for our staff, artists and visitors, remodel our café – including geodesic domes in the courtyard so we can welcome customers outdoors in all weathers – and build a new digital selling platform to help us support artists through sales of their work.

The last 12 months has been a rollercoaster ride for Edinburgh Printmakers. We moved to our new home at Castle Mills, Edinburgh in Spring 2019 and have welcomed 46,000 visitors in our first six months May to December 2019. In our first year our studio supported 220 members and 8 student placements for young artists. We ran 104 printmaking courses for more than 1000 adults and young people.

We won Project of the Year in the RICS Social Impact awards for 2019 and were shortlisted for the Civic Trust awards. Also, we won the Business Disability Forum 2019 Disability-Smart Award for customer service.

Shân Edwards, our Chief Executive, told us: “The journey from headline-grabbing success to sudden closure has been devastating for both our staff and the artists we support. Like most arts organisations, our staffing structure is only one element of the complex ecosystem of freelancers and independent artists supported by our programme.

“This emergency grant will be an absolute lifeline both to our staff and the network of artists we support. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has always been at the heart of our transformation of Castle Mills and it’s wonderful to be working with them again to safeguard our future in this unique building which is now world-class print studio.

“When Edinburgh Printmakers began work at Castle Mills the building was not far off needing to be demolished. One local resident described it as “unloved and lovely, dark and very dangerous”. It is now an exciting and accessible building for the 21st century, and we can’t wait to welcome back visitors when the pandemic eases.”

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund is now closed for applications. To find out more about how The National Heritage Emergency Fund is supporting the sector at this time please visit: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/responding-coronavirus-covid-19