Black Cultural Archives in Brixton receives a £200,000 cash boost by the government

The UK’s largest archives dedicated to the history of black people in Britain will be given a £200,000 cash boost by the Government to keep it going until long-term funding can be found.

A cash injection from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will secure its immediate future, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said.

The Black Cultural Archives, which helps preserve and celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of Britain, was facing long-term funding challenges.

But the funding from DCMS, building on a separate grant from Lambeth council, will ensure the archives can remain open while a solution is found.

The funding is recognition of the important role the archives, based in Windrush Square, Brixton, play in preserving and promoting the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain.

It builds on previous Heritage Lottery Funding of more than £4million since 2014, which has enabled the BCA to develop the UK’s first dedicated Black Heritage Centre.

DCMS will work with other organisations to identify a range of support and funding options to help the BCA to develop.

Mr Wright said: “The Black Cultural Archives does incredibly important work in preserving and promoting the history of African and Caribbean communities in the UK.

“This £200,000 funding is a crucial step in securing its future. We are working closely with the BCA to put it on a long-term sustainable footing so that it can continue to educate the public and celebrate black history in Britain.”

Founded in 1981, the BCA documents the lives of black British people from the Roman period to the present day and are an important resource for supporting the community and promoting the teaching, learning and understanding of the contribution that African and Caribbean people have made to our society.

Most recently the archives have supported the Government, marking 70 years since HMS Windrush’s arrival at the Port of Tilbury in Britain.

BCA lost two-thirds of its income when Heritage Lottery funding ended this year.

More than 100 MPs – including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable and two Conservatives – wrote to Mr Wright last month urging him to avert the centre’s crisis.

Mr Corbyn has also issued a statement backing proper funding for the 38-year-old museum, which has been in its new £7million home, the Grade-II listed Raleigh Hall, since 2014 and was visited by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as recently as February last year.

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