Funding partnership to widen access to national collections

£750,000 Weston Loan Programme allows local museums to borrow major artworks
Emily Bright
A new £750,000 funding and training programme to facilitate sharing of national collections throughout the UK has just been announced.

The Weston Loan Programme is a partnership between the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Art Fund. It is designed to improve the skills of 100 regional museum staff, extend access to national collections, and distribute resources throughout the UK.

The scheme offers grants of £5,000 to £25,000, and applications open from 6 July.

The deadline for applications is 11 September, and the first cohort of successful applicants in the three-year scheme will be informed in December. Artwork loans will be displayed from 2018.

Philippa Charles, The Garfield Weston Foundation's director, said: “This much-needed funding scheme will help museums the length and breadth of the country to realise their ambitions – for their institutions, audiences and curators.”

Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director, said: “We know that our national museums want to widen public access to the collections they hold, and that organisations around the UK want more opportunities to borrow and display these collections.

“Our new scheme will not only provide the funds to make this possible, but also broker new relationships between museums, help give curators the skills they need, and empower museums to determine their own priorities in direct response to local audiences.”

£600,000 of the £750,000 fund will cover insurance, conservation, advocacy, marketing and audience development, transportation and installation of artefacts; £100,000 will be allocated to providing training and networking opportunities; and £50,000 will be spent on the evaluation and reporting of the scheme.

The Weston Loan Programme is designed to complement pre-existing schemes such as Arts Council England’s Ready to Borrow scheme and TEG’s Preparing to Borrow.

Links and downloads

The Weston Loan Programme

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