Arts Council England awards £33m to National Portfolio Organisations from emergency fund

Recipients include York Museums Trust and Beamish Museum
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Rebecca Atkinson
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Arts Council England (ACE) has awarded 196 National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) a total of £33m from its short-term emergency fund set up to help organisations stay afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The museums and galleries that received grants include:
  • Geffrye Museum of the Home (£145,000)
  • Black Country Living Museum Trust (£1.17m)
  • Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (£500,000)
  • Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (£900,000)
  • Beamish Museum (£425,000)
  • Cumbria Museum Consortium (£553,806)
  • People's History Museum (£25,922)
  • The Bronte Society (£133,000)
  • York Museums Trust (£362,000)
  • Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust (£243,000)
  • Luton Cultural Services Trust - Wardown House (£51,471)
  • Museum of East Anglian Life (£88,950)
  • ss Great Britain Trust (£435,998)
  • Design Museum (£997,111)
  • Institute of Contemporary Arts (£289,368)
  • South London Gallery (£150,000)
  • The Photographers' Gallery (£280,000)
  • Whitechapel Gallery (£150,000)
  • The Lowry Centre Trust (£1.29m)
  • Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (£16,868)
  • The Hepworth Wakefield Trust (£40,000)
  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park (£350,000)
  • The Story Museum (£210,797)
  • De La Warr Pavilion (£375,000)
  • Firstsite (£250,000)
  • Hastings Contemporary (£67,013)

The arts council launched its £160m Emergency Response Package in March, including £90m for NPOs that required funding to sustain operations and meet basic costs over the summer.
In a statement, ACE said a number of organisations were not offered funding through this programme because they were not able to demonstrate they needed urgent funding before the end of September. It used external financial consultants to review applications for larger amounts of funding.
“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, our main priority has been to ensure that as much of our country’s cultural ecology as possible survives the summer – from individual artists and freelancers, to museums, libraries and arts organisations, both large and small, located in every corner of the country,” says Darren Henley, ACE’s chief executive.
"We know that massive challenges remain in the Autumn, and we'll use the rest of our available funds, alongside the government funding just announced, to support our sector in the coming months.”
Birmingham Museums Trust has confirmed that its application to the fund was unsuccessful.
It said in a statement: “There is no doubt that this is a very challenging time for Birmingham Museums Trust, as it is for many cultural organisations. The impact of closing our doors and the decreased footfall expected over the coming months ahead leaves us in a very difficult position.
"Our priority must be to secure the long-term financial sustainability of the trust so we can be there for our audiences for many years to come, but we will need support to do this.”

The arts council this month reopened applications to its regular funding programme, National Lottery Project Grants, with a budget of £59.8m. Accredited museums and individuals working in the sector such as curators are eligible to apply, and grants can cover work such as digital projects, outreach work and public programming.



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