Jenny Abramsky, chair, HLF

HLF will not fund museums selling collections for capital programmes

Patrick Steel, 14.01.2011
MA and HLF discuss financial situation for sector
On Tuesday this week the Museums Association’s director Mark Taylor and president Vanessa Trevelyan, met with the Heritage Lottery Fund’s chief executive Carole Souter and chair Jenny Abramsky.

Trevelyan said: “We discussed the situation facing the museum sector and what that means for museum services, particularly in the light of closures and collection sales.

“It is clear that museums should not be selling collections in order to fund their capital programmes, and the HLF is not looking to match fund in that way.

“We agreed that the matter should continue to be debated by the sector as the MA finds more councils proposing sales. The debate about how this is managed needs to be open and honest, and the MA needs to be involved.

“The HLF will be virtually alone in providing good quality strategic advice for museums, and our message to any museums with HLF grants that run into problems is that they should take full advantage of the advice that HLF can offer. Talk to the HLF as early as possible.”

The meeting also touched on the HLF’s relationship with Arts Council England as the latter takes over the functions of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, and how the HLF and the MA can work together to encourage and emphasise the importance of collections knowledge and skills, and the HLF’s role in philanthropy.

Applications to the HLF are still coming in, said Trevelyan, but while the HLF is not seeing an increase in applications those museums that are applying are looking for more money.


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15.01.2011, 17:01
Great to hear of a clear stand from HLF and MA about random sell offs. Access to dedicated and good advice will indeed become even harder to get soon. But the good news is that MDOs are likely to continue. With luck the current patchy provision will be improved to ensure coverage is complete, across England at least. Active and positive networking between all the 'institutions of support' is going to be even more crucial than ever. Still waving, not yet drowning