There are more than 2,000 museums in England, located in most towns and cities across the country. They are arguably some of the finest museums in the world, with extraordinary collections that tell stories that are more relevant today than ever before.  

Museum audiences have grown consistently over the last decade, and half of all adults visited a museum or gallery last year - that’s more than attendance at the football Premiership League plus the whole of the rest of league football, and more than the number of people who annually visit the West End and Broadway theatres combined.

Despite this success, many museums face difficult economic circumstances, with local authorities – the largest investor in regional museums – facing declining resources, added to reductions to our own funds and diminished National Lottery funding for museums. 

Arts Council England’s funding plans for 2015-18 responds to this challenge with a focus on building the resilience of museums and on close partnerships with other funders and cross-sector bodies to make best use of the resources available. 

Read more about our 2015-18 Major partner museums investment: Word, PDF

Take a look at how we made our decisions