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Museum development providers announced as Subject specialist network fund opens

  • Date: 10 May 2012
  • Area: National

The Arts Council has today announced funding for nine organisations that will provide valuable development support for regional museums.

The successful applicants to the Museum development fund will provide a national network of professional advice to all museums, particularly supporting smaller museums.

Resilience and sustainability

Their priority will be to improve the resilience and sustainability of the museums sector, helping to maximise benefits to audiences and communities.

The areas of work will include business planning and enterprise, workforce development, attracting new audiences and organisational improvement.

Together, these nine museum development providers will receive £8,071,077 between 2012 and 2015. To see the full list of providers visit the Museum development page of our website.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said:

'In revising the Renaissance programme following the Arts Council's assumption of responsibilities for the development of English regional museums, we consulted closely with museums and their stakeholders, and in doing so, recognised the high value that the sector puts on museum development and the essential role it plays in supporting the sector.

'We are therefore very glad to be announcing, for the first time, our commitment to museum development for just under three years of funding. We're confident that the final nine museum development providers are in the best position to build on previous successes, and, in working with the other strands of our Renaissance activity, can develop the sustainability of regional museums across the country.'

Funding for shared expertise

Applications for the Subject specialist network fund are now open, for grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 from a total annual fund of £150,000 for 2012/13.

The fund is aimed at supporting the sharing of knowledge and expertise of specialist collections across the country.

Subject specialist networks share their particular expertise in subject-specific collections to ensure the nation's museum collections are all fully understood and being put to the best public use. Examples of existing networks include the Society of Museum Archaeologists, Dress and Textiles Specialists, and the Sports Heritage Network.

Both new and existing Subject specialist networks can apply for funding towards networking, events such as study days or conference, developing digital resources, training, fellowships or mentoring schemes, and travel bursaries.

Apply for funding 

To apply to the Subject specialist network fund visit the How to apply page on our website.

The wider Renaissance programme

Both funds form part of our wider Renaissance programme, through which we are investing £129 million into supporting the development of regional museums over the next three years.

The Subject specialist network grants are one part of the Renaissance national programmes, which also includes funding for Collections Trust and Culture24, campaigns such as Kids in Museums and Museums at Night, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the PRISM Fund, and the Designation development fund.

The £700,000 annual Designation development fund will open in late May 2012, and will invest in projects that ensure the long-term sustainability of Designated collections.

The Arts Council will also announce details of the final part of the Renaissance programme - the Renaissance Strategic support fund - this summer. This fund will focus on any gaps or development opportunities that have not been addressed by the other Renaissance funds

Further information

To learn more about how we support museums, visit the Supporting museums section of our website.