News in brief | Latest funding, projects, moves and more - Museums Association

News in brief | Latest funding, projects, moves and more

Sculpture programme announced for Wakefield as Anglo-Saxon visitor attraction opens in Winchester
News in Brief
The launch event for 878AD, Hampshire's new Anglo-Saxon visitor attraction
The launch event for 878AD, Hampshire's new Anglo-Saxon visitor attraction

Anglo-Saxon attraction opens in Winchester

A new immersive visitor attraction on Anglo Saxon history has opened in Winchester, Hampshire. The venue, 878AD, is the result of a partnership between Hampshire Cultural trust and Ubisoft, the creators of the video game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It uses the world of the bestselling gaming series to bring Anglo-Saxon Winchester to life.

Purchase Grant Fund open for applications

The Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund is currently open for applications. The fund supports the purchase of a wide range of material for the permanent collections of non-nationally funded organisations in England and Wales. With a total annual budget in 22/23 of £725,000 and individual grants ranging from £500 to £50,000, the fund gives galleries, museums and institutions the opportunity to expand their collections and bring new objects to a new audience. For more information visit the V&A website or email purchasegrantfund@vam.ac.uk.

Sculpture programme for Wakefield

Five British artists have been selected to create a series of site-specific sculptures in Wakefield. The works will form a free public art trail starting at the city’s train station and culminating at the Hepworth Wakefield gallery. The programme received £1m in funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The artists are Halima Cassell, Andy Holden, Annie Morris, Ro Robertson and Jason Wilsher-Mills, with the trail to be unveiled in summer 2023. The programme is part of plans to celebrate and build on the city’s rich history of sculpture as the birthplace of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, and home of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.   

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Northampton arts hub to relocate

Artist's impression of the new centre at 24 Guildhall Road

Northampton’s contemporary art space, NN Contemporary, is planning a £4.7m relocation and renovation project. Working in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council and supported by the government’s Towns Fund, the project aims to “bring a new kind of public space to Northampton”. The centre will be housed in a previously derelict Georgian building, 24 Guildhall Road, and will feature more than 20 affordable creative workspaces and studios aimed at enabling artists and creators to grow and develop their practice in the town. The multi-functional community space will include a civic reading room and arts library, retail space and multimedia lab.

Lancashire County Council crowdfunding campaign

Lancashire County Council has launched a new funding initiative to support community-led ideas that will help Lancashire “become more vibrant, connected and forward-thinking”. Working in partnership with Spacehive, the civic crowdfunding platform, the Lancashire Culture & Sport Fund aims to empower residents to improve their community via cultural and sporting activities. The council has allocated £500,000 per year to the fund. Organisations could get up to £20,000 to boost projects towards their funding target, with smaller amounts available to parish and town councils, individuals and business. The fund opened for project applications on 1 December. The deadline to launch crowdfunding campaigns on Spacehive for the first round of funding is 1 February 2023. 

National Stone Centre transformation

Plans have been submitted for a £6.5m transformation of the National Stone Centre (NSC) in Derbyshire. He first phase of the project includes proposals for a museum and exhibition space, classrooms, a shop and restaurant, thematic children’s playground and an open-air circular piazza. The proposed new building will incorporate references to the area’s geology and industrial heritage, including overhanging rock formations found in local gritstone outcrops, such as Black Rocks and Stanage Edge. 

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National Lottery Heritage Fund appoints North of England director

Helen Featherstone joins the Heritage Fund from Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Helen Featherstone has been announced as the director of England, North at the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Featherstone will hold responsibility for developing strategic partnerships and delivering the Heritage Fund’s priorities of enhancing public engagement and investment across the north of England. Helen joins the Heritage Fund from Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where she was deputy director. She was previously CEO of Sheffield Industrial Museums and has extensive governance experience in the heritage sector. 

Work begins on Hull maritime attraction

An artists' impression of the former North End Shipyard Hull City Council

Work is underway on a new energy efficient visitor centre for a maritime attraction in Hull. The two-storey visitor centre at the former North End Shipyard, which is the new home to the Arctic Corsair trawler, will be built to Passivhaus standards, and require very little energy to run. The new visitor attraction will enable visitors to get up close to the trawler and learn more about her career and the experiences of former trawlermen. The visitor centre will also highlight the historical significance of the shipyard, which will have its story told for the first time.

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