£250m five-year cultural investment funding announced


A five-year, £250m investment in innovative cultural projects, libraries, museums and creative industries has been announced by the Government.

More than half of the funding will be invested in regional museums and libraries around the UK and more than £90m will be provided to extend the Cultural Development Fund which uses investment in heritage, culture and creativity to drive regeneration and growth.

A further £18.5 million has been allocated to York’s National Railway Museum, and an extra £7 million for Coventry and the UK City of Culture programme.

In total, over the next 5 years, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will invest an additional £50 million each year in culture and the creative industries across England to revitalise existing assets and to support new cultural development.

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Creative and cultural institutions are at the heart of our communities. The Cultural Investment Fund is the Government’s biggest ever single investment in cultural infrastructure, local museums and neighbourhood libraries and will benefit communities across the country.” 

The investment programme will cover

  • Transformation of the National Railway Museum, including new gallery and exhibition spaces, improved accessibility and the restoration of heritage buildings. The museum will become the cultural hub of York Central - the redevelopment of the largest city centre brownfield site in Europe -  projected to include 6,500 high-value jobs, and up to 2,500 new homes.
  • Upgrading buildings and technology so public libraries across England are better placed to respond to the changing ways people are using them.
  • Additional support for UK City of Culture 2021 to transform Coventry, designed to unlock £37m of additional funding and over £107m of tourism impacts.

The £250 million investment will be delivered by DCMS, with Arts Council England (ACE) having a key role in distributing the fund.  Both the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England will also play important roles, particularly in the delivery of the museums maintenance fund.

ACE has significant expertise in assessing capital projects and evaluating funding applications. It will run open competitions to ensure that investment goes to the best projects and benefits across the country.

Arts Council England Chair Nick Serota said: “We know that towns and villages up and down England will benefit from investment in local libraries and museums, and in new jobs in our growing creative industries. We’ll work closely with Government to develop the detail of the programme in the coming days and weeks.”

Tim Davie, Industry co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council said: Our creative industries are world renowned and vital to future economic growth. This extra funding is excellent news. It will extend the successful work developing vibrant creative industry hubs across England, a central theme of the Creative Industries Sector Deal agreed between the Creative Industries Council and Government last year.”

Read full Government release.


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