Renaissance Major partner museums announced 

On Tuesday 24 January 2012 we announced the 16 Renaissance Major partner museums. They will together receive approximately £20 million per year funding for the next three years as part of the Renaissance programme for regional museums. 

You can read about how we work with Major partner museums in The relationship between the Arts Council and funded organisations

About Renaissance in the Regions

On 13 September we opened applications for the revised Renaissance in the Regions major grants programme for regional museums, as part of the preparation for the Arts Council assuming key responsibilities formerly held by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) on 1 October 2011. 

The funding for the reworked Renaissance major grants programme - which replaced the MLA's proposed core museums fund - is £20 million a year. For the first time, major grants to regional museums were awarded via an open application process, assessed against published criteria, in a similar way to the National portfolio funding process for arts organisations in 2011. We hope that by opening up the application process a new mix of museums across the country will find support through Renaissance.

Face to face briefings for museums interested in applying took place throughout the country in September. You can access the briefing presentation here and the Q&As from these events in Word format or PDF format.


Grants of between £500,000 and £2 million were awarded for a period of three years, April 2012 - March 2015, and only Accredited museums with Designated collections were eligible to apply.

Applications closed on Wednesday, 2 November 2011 and funding decisions were announced on 20 January 2012. You can view a copy of the Major grants guidance document in Word or PDF formats.

More about Renaissance

The major grants programme is one of the four key parts to Renaissance - an improvement programme for regional museums that Arts Council England sees as the key way to drive excellence and deliver long term change in museums in England, with the aim of attracting more visitors to museums and enabling people to experience them in new and innovative ways. Visit our Renaissance page for an overview of the programme and our planned investment.

On 13 September 2011 we also published Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone, the companion document to our 10-year strategic framework for the arts Achieving great art for everyone. This document revisits our strategic goals, making sure they are appropriate for our expanded role, and that museums and libraries sit firmly with the arts at the heart of our organisation.

A review of research and literature on museums and libraries

In preparation for our new responsibilities and to help us understand the museum and library landscape, we have also undertaken a range of activities to understand the needs and priorities of the sectors and published A review of research and literature on museums and libraries.

Download A review of research and literature on museums and libraries.