The Dan Dare display case at the Atkinson in Southport

ACE awards £17.5m in first round of resilience fund

Rebecca Atkinson, 03.03.2015
Record number of applications received for sustainability funding
Arts Council England (ACE) has awarded £17.5m to 108 organisations across England in the first round of its museum resilience fund 2015-18.

The funder said it received a record number of applications to the fund, which was announced as a replacement for the Renaissance strategic support fund in September. The fund aims to help museums become more sustainable, and will award about £30m over the next three years.

The first round has awarded more than £307m to national projects run by a range of organisations, such as the Museums Association, People United and Kids in Museums.

The Association for Independent Museums was awarded £900,000, and seven subject specialist networks will receive a further £634,096, including the Money & Medals Network that will extend a programme of support for coin collections across the UK.

In the north of England, more than £3.7m has been awarded to 27 museums, including Bailiffgate Museum in Northumberland, Kirklees Museums and Galleries in Yorkshire and the Atkinson in Southport.

In the Midlands, 19 organisations have received £4.2m, while in the East and South East 24 museums have received more than £3.1m.

Three museums in London – the Geffrye, London Transport Museum and Harrow Museum – have received nearly £1.5m, while £2.5m has been awarded to 15 museums across the South West, including Hampshire Cultural Trust to support its programme to move local authority services to a sustainable operating model.

John Orna-Ornstein, the director of museums at the arts council, said: “The £17.5m we are awarding in this round will support the brilliant work museums are doing to become more sustainable organisations.

"Some of the successful applicants are offering services right across the sector, benefitting hundreds of museums. Others are small individual museums with ambitious plans for change in their own organisation.”

The second round of the museum resilience fund will open to applications in the autumn.

Last week, the arts council announced the 41 arts organisations that will benefit from its £9.6m small-scale capital investment programme. Museum recipients include the Story Museum in Oxford, which will install a lift, heating and insulation to allow year-round access to its second floor and expanding its capacity to reach new audiences.

The Photographers' Gallery in London has received £100,000 to invest in its IT and digital presence, while the New Art Exchange in Nottingham has received £490,000 to turn a disused library building into a creative space and Ferens Art Gallery in Hull has been awarded £499,999 to make improvements to its building.


Download the full list of resilience funding recipients (Excel)

Download the full list of the capital investment programme (Excel)