Nearly 70 museums and libraries across England to benefit from £33 million boost

Every part of England will receive funding through the latest round of the Cultural Investment Fund, Government writes.

image: Open Government Licence v3.0

GOV.UK writes:

  • 26 museums given funding, in addition to 43 library services
  • Funding underlines the Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting culture in all corners of the country

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Newcastle Libraries and the Isle of Wight’s Dinosaur Isle are among almost 70 organisations which are set to receive a share of more than £33 million through the Government’s Cultural Investment Fund.

The funding will support important upgrades to museums and public libraries – such as vital repairs, renovations and the development of digital infrastructure – which will ensure they can continue to be assets to their communities and improve the visitor experience.

These critical infrastructure projects will help to boost access, maximise income generation opportunities and increase visitor numbers at treasured organisations in places across the country.

Dinosaur Isle, a unique building on the Isle of Wight, has been awarded almost £500,000 for structural repairs to its roof and improvements to the environment and lighting. The museum holds an internationally significant collection of dinosaurs, forming the UK’s second largest collection after the Natural History Museum.

Nearly £400,000 has been awarded to Newcastle Libraries to create a new reading facility in a disused part of the Walker Activity Dome. It will also support increased opening hours and create a flexible community space.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire Sculpture Park has been awarded more than £250,000 to restore and repair its 200-year-old, Grade II-listed Cut Bridge. The bridge forms a key route across the park, as well as forming an integral part of the 18th and 19th century design and development of the estate.

Arts and Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said:

“Museums and libraries are the bedrock of the community across the country, helping to inspire the creativity and curiosity of young people and begin lifelong passions for reading, learning, history and the arts.

“This major cultural investment will continue our work to level up access to culture across the country, with beneficiaries from St Ives to Sunderland and from Medway to Tyneside, building on the £100 million of further Levelling Up funding for cultural and heritage projects confirmed at this month’s Budget.”

Darren Henley, Arts Council England chief executive, said:

“Museums make a huge contribution to the lives of people in towns and cities across England.  This investment in the physical fabric of their buildings helps to make sure that our museums are able to carry on serving their communities for years to come. We’re excited to be delivering the next round of the programme on behalf of the DCMS because we know the positive impact this investment has on helping museums make a real difference across the country.”

Mark Chesman, head of estates and projects at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, said:

“We are delighted that the MEND fund, administered by ACE, will be supporting us to carry out urgent repairs to a historic iron bridge within Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

“The Cut bridge crosses the River Dearne and is a critical part of the estate’s infrastructure, repairs to the deck and ironwork will ensure continued access to art, nature and our heritage.

“It’s only with the support from capital grants such as the MEND fund, and additional partnership funding from Historic Houses Foundation, that these essential works can be progressed.”

Newcastle City Council’s Director of City Operations, Neighbourhoods and Regulatory Services, Christine Herriot, said:

“This is fantastic news. Libraries play an increasingly important role in our communities and have become much more than just places where people can borrow books.

“This extra funding will help make the library bigger by bringing unused storage space back into use, give it a new entrance and enable us to widen digital services on offer while putting in place employment support to help residents with training and accessing new job opportunities.

“We want our libraries to be pleasant, inclusive places, offering the best facilities possible for our residents and this funding will help us achieve that at Walker Library.”

All regions of England have received funding, which comes through the Museum Estate and Development Fund and the Libraries Improvement Fund, two parts of the Cultural Investment Fund.

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