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Birmingham and Ironbridge are successful in winning Renaissance museum major partner awards

  • Date: 31 January 2012
  • Area: Midlands
People looking at a large image as they walk into a building

Karma at Ironbridge. Credit: Kurt Hentschlager

Arts Council England has announced the 16 Major partner museums which will together receive approximately £20 million a year in funding for the next three years (April 2012 - March 2015) as part of its Renaissance programme for regional museums.

Two museums in the West Midlands have been successful - the new Birmingham Museums Trust (a partnership of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and ThinkTank) and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Shropshire.

Birmingham Museums Trust plans to invest in activities to increasingly open up their collections to a wider and more diverse cross section of people. Both Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and ThinkTank plan on creative collaborations with local communities and creative and cultural organisations.

Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust's proposal is to achieve excellence through the development of their collections, by building new cultural partnerships and by developing the number of visitors.

The awards follow the Arts Council's assumption of responsibilities for museum development from the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in 2011. It is the first time major Renaissance grants have been awarded for a three year period via an open application system against published criteria.

Ros Robins, West Midlands Director, Arts Council England, said: 'We are delighted that two major museum trusts in the region have been selected to be major partner museums. Both the new Birmingham Trust and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum have outstanding reputations for their collections and visitor numbers.'

The 16 major partners represent a diverse range of museums across England, including local authority and university museums and independent trusts. Several successful applications came from consortia, meaning that 23 museum services will receive support through this part of Renaissance.

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