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Long-term plan sought for Black Cultural Archives as UK government funding announced

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A £200,000 (US$252,605, €221,270) cash injection from the UK Government to Black Cultural Archives (BCA) in Brixton, London, is intended to buy time for the charity to secure a long-term sustainable financial footing.

The BCA, which documents and celebrate the lives of black British people from Roman times to the present day, was founded in 1981 and received Heritage Lottery Funding of £4.1m (US$5.18m, €4.54m) in 2014. This enabled the development of the UK’s first dedicated Black Heritage Centre. Lambeth Council has also provided financial grants to the BCA.

The latest funding, which is from the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), is recognition of "the important role the Archives play in preserving and promoting the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain". DCMS added that it will support the BCA to "deliver a step-change in their activity and extend their national reach", working with other organisations to explore a range of support and funding opportunities.

The BCA collection includes rare historical documents, photographs, ephemera, oral history testimonies and an eclectic range of objects dating from the second century onwards. It has attracted high profile patrons such as the actor Idris Elba and former Olympic athlete Colin Jackson CBE, as well as politicians such as Lord Paul Boateng and Chuka Umunna MP.

In welcoming the new funding, Paul Reid, director of the BCA, commented: "As we move through these challenging times, it is essential that we secure the legacy for future generations as the only national institution dedicated to uncovering, preserving and celebrating the histories and heritage of African and Caribbean people in Britain."

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A £200,000 ($252,605, €221,270) cash injection from the UK Government to Black Cultural Archives (BCA) in Brixton, London, is intended to buy time for the charity to secure a long-term sustainable financial footing.
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