Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft (c) Marc Atkins

Museums eligible for revamped Grants for the Arts funding

Patrick Steel, 24.01.2018
But Strategic Funds cut from £118.4m to £72.2m a year and Prism fund scrapped
A change in the name and funding criteria for Grants for the Arts will see museums eligible to apply for the £97.3m a year pot for the first time.

Arts Council England (ACE) has announced that £97.3m a year from 2018-22 will be available to museums, libraries, artists and arts organisations for individual projects from its Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants (ACNLPG), the new name for Grants for the Arts.

The fund, which was at one point going to be named Grants for the Arts and Culture, has received a slight uplift, from £75m a year in 2015-18.

But the former Ambition for Excellence and Strategic Touring funds, which received £35.2m and £35m respectively in 2015-18, have been scrapped. The Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material Fund (Prism), which awarded grants of £500 to £20,000 to conserve objects and collections from science, technology, industry and related fields, has also closed.

The arts council has ringfenced £14m a year from the ACNLPG to support some of the activities that were previously funded, alongside “nationally significant projects” of £100,000 and above.

Detailed applicant guidelines for the fund will be published on 12 February.

Museums can also apply to the Arts Council National Development Funds (ACNDF), the new name for the former Strategic Funds. The fund has been cut from £118.4m a year in 2015-18 to £72.2m a year in 2018-22.

The funding pot includes £37m over four years for Creative People and Places, which targets areas with traditionally low engagement in art and culture, a £44m a year capital funding programme for small projects, and a one-off capital funding round for large projects worth £30m in 2020-21.

The cuts, and the renaming of the funds, reflect the arts council’s reliance on national lottery funding. ACE received £227.4m from the lottery in 2016-17, £40.9m less than 2015-16, and £21.6m lower than was forecast for that year.

Resilience and sustainability

ACE has also announced the successful applicants for the Catalyst Small Grants programme, a £2.8m pot funded by the National Lottery, designed to support organisations to build fundraising capacity.

Among them were the Museum in the Park in Stroud (£12,575), Artsreach (£22,194), the Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft (£19,440), the National Association for Gallery Education (£18,000), and the Manchester Jewish Museum (£22,000).

Ten-year strategy

ACE has launched a public consultation about its 10-year strategy for the period 2020-30. The arts council is encouraging individuals and organisations to take part in an online discussion about ACE’s future. There will also be a series of community workshops and a public survey around the strategy.

Comments

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Anonymous
29.01.2018, 23:45
It is a pity that the UK Government which claims to be keen on STEM subjects can't find the money to support the continued existence of the PRISM fund, which started before the National Lottery came into existence. Perhaps a PRISM+ which would be about conserving scientific and industrial heritage, and also about making the science behind it accessible.
Anthony Morgan
Education Demonstrator, National Museums Liverpool
25.01.2018, 17:14
With the scrapping of the PRISM fund, will ACE guarantee that industrial and scientific bids get equal consideration alongside arts bids. The examples above all appear to relate to arts or creative enterprises. Perhaps it should be 50 - 50?