Detail from Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel, Rome

ACE launches £20m major grants programme

Patrick Steel, 13.09.2011
Applications for Renaissance funding open today
The Arts Council England (ACE) today launched its Renaissance major grants programme for regional museums in England, an open application process similar to its National Portfolio programme.

The scheme, which replaces the Museums Libraries and Archives core museums fund concept, will award grants ranging from £500,000 to £2m for the three years between 2012 and 2015 from a total pot of £20m.

Only accredited museums, or consortia of accredited museums, with designated collections will be eligible to apply, and all applicants must demonstrate that they are meeting ACE’s five goals: excellence, audiences, resilience, leadership and diversity, and children and young people.

Any museums that have had a long-term funding relationship with Renaissance whose applications are not successful will be offered transitional funding to help them through this change. This funding, which is not part of the £20m major grant budget, will be allocated on a case-by-case basis.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 2 November, with funding decisions to be announced in January 2012.

Maurice Davies, the MA’s head of policy and communications, said: “We welcome the new application process. The arts council’s guidance is very clear, and it is also very clear about the goals. This will allow for a really transparent and fair application process for regional museums.”

For details, and to apply, please click here (ACE website)

Renaissance: the future

Major grants are one of four parts to Renaissance, which has a total budget of £43m a year.

The other three are: a strategic support fund to target development areas not addressed by the programme of major grants; a museum development fund to provide professional support, advice and guidance to museums in England; and a series of national programmes to support museums including Accreditation, Designation, and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.

Culture, knowledge and understanding

In conjunction with the launch of the application process, ACE has also published Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone.

The publication articulates ACE’s strategic goals for museums and will feed into an informal consultation in late autumn about how best to reflect the long-term ambitions of all the sectors that ACE now represents.

Click here to read Maurice Davies thoughts on 'new' Renaissance

Briefing meetings

ACE is also holding a series of meetings around England this month to brief senior staff at museums on the Renaissance application process, and to prepare museums for its takeover of the MLA’s functions next month.

For more information about the meetings, click here