LONDON, UK.- The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) today announced how £100 million of funding will be allocated to museums throughout England as part of Renaissance, its national scheme to transform regional museums.
The funding package - spread over the next three years - will help regional museums across the country improve their collections and displays, provide better services to schools, and attract new audiences.
Most of the money will go to regional Hubs: a network of flagship museums in each region which are responsible for setting standards and providing advice. But others are also set to benefit, with £21 million set aside to support smaller or independent museums throughout the country.
Three regions - the North East, South West and West Midlands - are already receiving full funding and reaping major benefits from the Renaissance scheme, which is spearheaded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). New funding announced by the government last year represents 60% of the target required to bring the other six regions to the same level.
Announcing the regional allocations, MLA Chair Mark Wood said: "England has some of the finest regional museums in the world, and with additional funding they have shown they can further increase their appeal to a broad swathe of the population. The Renaissance programme has already achieved remarkable improvements in its first phase and we now want to see all English regions benefit from the targeted investment it brings."
"We are already starting to achieve this in the three pilot regions, and this new funding will help us bring real benefits elsewhere in the country. It is not yet enough to fully restore England's regional museums, many of which have suffered years of under funding and neglect. But it's a welcome step towards that goal."
Arts Minister Estelle Morris said: "We already know the real difference Renaissance can make through its impact in the three pilot regions. It has delivered impressive results in record time, with major improvements to collections and displays. Audiences have risen, and the number of schoolchildren visiting museums is up by 30%, many of them from schools in England's most deprived wards. I'm delighted that other museums across the country can now start to see the same benefits."