Cultural Destinations fund awards £3.2m to 17 projects

Potteries Museum and Nottingham Contemporary among first grantees
Alice Durrans
The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke on Trent and Nottingham Contemporary are among the first recipients of funding from Arts Council England’s new Cultural Destinations programme.

The scheme, which is being run in partnership with VisitEngland, has distributed more than £3.2m to 17 consortia across England. It will enable cultural and arts bodies to work in partnership with destination organisations to encourage the growth of the tourism and visitor economy.

The Potteries Museum has received £300,000 to lead a project with other local arts and cultural organisations to develop a joined-up approach towards attracting more visitors to the city, which is bidding to be the UK City of Culture 2021.

Nottingham Contemporary will receive £150,000 towards developing two more seasons of the Grand Tour programme, which showcases historic cultural treasures alongside contemporary artwork across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

John Orna-Ornstein, the arts council’s director of museums, said: “Our work with VisitEngland and this new investment means that more museums across the country will benefit from the local growth in both the economy and arts and culture.
“Funding projects such as the Potteries Museum in Stoke will put local museums on the map, leading to visitor growth and increased museum-led projects nationwide.

“Investments in local tourism are also set to see museums play a larger role in the cultural offer of a city, and I'm looking forward to seeing the successful organisations bring their projects to life over the coming months.”

Abi Brown, who is leading Stoke-on-Trent’s City of Culture 2021 bid, said: “We are committed to raising awareness of the many highlights that our city has to offer and this funding will help us to deliver that, improving our city’s cultural offer and linking to the City of Culture bid.”

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