DCMS/Wolfson £4m fund opens for applications - Museums Association

DCMS/Wolfson £4m fund opens for applications

Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund is available to organisations in England
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Simon Stephens
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Yorkshire Museum has benefited from the Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund
Yorkshire Museum has benefited from the Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund Suicasmo, CC-BY-SA 4.0

A total of £4m available in the latest round of the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.

The grants, which are for museums and galleries in England, are designed to improve displays, protect collections and make exhibitions more accessible to visitors. The fund has provided more than £48m to over 400 projects over the past 20 years.

“The collections of our outstanding museums and galleries tell us so much about our shared history and heritage,” said Wolfson Foundation chief executive Paul Ramsbottom. “For over 20 years, we have worked with DCMS to support an impressive range of institutions to improve access to fascinating objects and art.

“We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with DCMS and to announce another round of funding. This support will allow museums and galleries to enhance the display and interpretation of their collections, giving greater access and enjoyment for visitors.”

The fund opened for applications on 9 May. The deadline is 1 August. More than 370 museums and galleries across 130 museums/museum groups are eligible.

Museums that have benefited from the fund include York Museums Trust, which has received support on a number of occasions.

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The trust’s chief executive Reyahn King said: “DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund grants have supported us to carry out transformative work to our museums and galleries. At the Yorkshire Museum, the installation of Jurassic Yorkshire enabled us to mount a high quality, interactive and technologically creative suite of new permanent galleries that attracted more visitors than at any time since York Museums Trust was founded in 2002. 

“Support for York Art Gallery’s redevelopment in 2013 assisted us to hugely increase our display and exhibition space and establish the Centre of Ceramic Art. We also received support towards our permanent Shaping the Body exhibition at York Castle Museum, which examines our costume and social history collections through the contemporary lens of body image.”

The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, a Victorian villa overlooking the Bournemouth coast, was awarded £115,174 by DCMS/Wolfson, which enabled it to leverage further funding and deliver a project to redisplay and reinterpret three historic rooms.

Museum manager Sarah Newman said: “We have been able to create a new way of interacting with these once forgotten and out of date rooms. Visitors now appreciate these rooms for their original function and glorious views and regularly compliment us on it. 

“It is no exaggeration to say that it has transformed our visitor experience, delivering a fitting and compelling experience, beyond even our expectations. It is wonderful that this particular funding stream has been renewed as it enables museums to make significant, sustainable capital improvements which can be step-changing in their impact.”

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