Significant areas of England left without Renaissance funding

No funding for East Midlands and Museums Sheffield to appeal decision
Sharon Heal
The Arts Council England today announced its 16 major partner museums that will be funded as part of the Renaissance programme.

There are some newcomers on the list such as the Cumbria Museums Consortium, which includes the Wordsworth Trust and the Lakelands Arts Trust, which weren’t previously part of the hub structure.

But there were also some significant losers.

There is no major partner museum in the East Midlands despite the fact that Derby and Nottingham museum services applied as a partnership.

And Museums Sheffield, which also made an unsuccessful application, has vowed to appeal the decision.

Nick Dodd, the chief executive of Museums Sheffield, said: "This is bitterly disappointing news. Funding from the outgoing Renaissance in the Regions scheme has transformed the quality of museum and gallery provision in Sheffield over the past 8 years.

"We know we put together a compelling case for continued funding under the new Arts Council grants programme, which met all the published criteria.

"This decision will have a devastating impact and leaves Sheffield, South Yorkshire and the East Midlands grossly under-funded by the Arts Council in comparison with other parts of the country.

"We fully intend to appeal and will be questioning the Arts Council’s strategic and geographical distribution of this public money."

An ACE spokesman said: "Yorkshire has an incredibly strong museums offer, which was reflected in the high quality of applications we received from the region, and it was with regret that we couldn’t fund Sheffield Museums as a major partner.

“We recognise the excellent work Sheffield Museums have been doing and we are already speaking to them about how we can support their ambitions for the future through other parts of the Renaissance programme."

Twenty-nine applications were received in total which means at least 13 museums or consortia lost out.

Maurice Davies, head of policy at the Museums Association, said that some museums that lost out were doing fantastic work and he hoped ACE would address any geographical anomalies through the Strategic Support Fund.

The major museums will receive approximately £20m a year for the next three years. The exact amounts of each award will be published in April.

One year’s transitional funding will be available to unsuccessful applicants that currently receive Renaissance funding and will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

The Museums Development fund opens to applications next month, with a total of £8m available between 2012 and 2015.

For list of major grant awards and funding map, click here


This story was updated at 3.24pm

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