£2.4m fund to help museums borrow objects

Plus funds for cultural exchange between Northern Powerhouse and South Asia 
Nicola Sullivan
Arts Council England (ACE) has announced £2.4m of funding to help museums in England build their capacity to borrow objects from national and Major Partner museums.
The funding will be made available through the second round of ACE's Ready to Borrow: Small Scale Capital Development Scheme.
Small grants will be given to museums so they can upgrade exhibition spaces and host loaned objects. In 2015 the scheme provided funding for 60 museums.
ACE has also announced that its Ambition for Excellence Award of £730,000 will go to the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, Liverpool Biennial and The Tetley in Leeds to support a three-year cultural exchange between the Northern Powerhouse and South Asia. The project will see the northern cultural institutions working with projects in Lahore and Karachi Pakistan; Kochi, India; and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The resulting project New North and South will include a series of exhibitions, performances and educational events in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. It will open in 2017 to mark the 70th anniversary of the partition of India and conclude with the opening of Manchester Museum’s permanent South Asia gallery in 2020.

New North and South will highlight the North of England’s long association with the Indian sub-continent and forge partnerships with artists and curators in that part of the world.
Maria Balshaw, the director of the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester City Galleries, said the funding would also allow the museums to develop new connections with the South Asian communities in and around Manchester.

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