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Arts Council England announces the six organisations from the North East awarded funding through the Renaissance Strategic support fund

  • Date: 27 March 2013
  • Area: North
Seven Stories

Seven Stories. Credit: i-2-I photography

Arts Council England is today (Wednesday 27 March 2013) announcing the six organisations in North East who will receive approximately £1.2 million through the second round of the Renaissance Strategic support fund.

Overall, the Arts Council has awarded approximately £17.8 million across the country to innovative and exciting projects, led by a wide range of museum types. A full list of the recipients of the second round of the Renaissance Strategic support fund can be found on the Arts Council website here.

Projects that have received awards include:

Tees Valley (
£394,775)
Five boroughs of the Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton) are teaming up with the independent museum, Heugh Gun Battery, the site of the only World War I battlefield in the North East region, to commemorate one hundred years since the start of World War I. The aim of the project is to bring the story of the War to life, to root an understanding of it in local events and artefacts, and to reveal the profound social impact it had on every section of society. This two year project includes: understanding the World War I collections held by Tees Valley Museums: exhibitions; drama performances; digital and hologram projects; outreach events and education provision across the five boroughs and ensuring that schools visit the Heugh Gun Battery.

Seven Stories (Newcastle upon Tyne) (£79,000)
Seven Stories is developing a learning programme drawing on the remarkable holdings of children's book illustrations in the Seven Stories Collection.  It will pilot workshops to inspire illustration students in Further and Higher Education and 'A' level art students and deliver illustration workshops as part of the public programme at Seven Stories for adult learners, aspiring illustrators and interested young people. To support the workshops a digital learning resource will be created.  In addition, a book and exhibition, drawing on the Seven Stories Collection, will show how a picturebook is created, and illuminate the changing world of illustration for children. 

Durham University Oriental Museum (£114,000)
This two year project will transform the South Asian and Himalayan collections of the Durham University Oriental Museum into an accessible resource; enhancing the visitor experience, supporting community and youth engagement work, and promoting scholarship. To complement a new permanent gallery at the museum this project will develop a complementary regional touring exhibition, review and research the collections, develop learning resources for schools and build community links and programmes.

Bedes World (South Tyneside) (£120,000)
This project will lay the foundations of how Bede's World will operate in the future. Bedes World is building on its current research and piloting to develop the organisation in three key ways; implementing a co-operative enterprise model at the museum, developing a community radio station with a broadcast schedule that is integral to the museum, and growing a heritage learning academy with an NVQ assessor onsite.

Woodhorn (Northumberland) (£200,000)
Woodhorn Trust, which includes Woodhorn Museum, Morpeth Bagpipe Museum, Hexham Old Gaol and Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, is putting communities at its heart.  It is delivering a programme of work to reposition the museums in terms of their relationship with local people.  The project will include developing coherent family learning and public programmes across all sites, reinterpretation of the Ashington Group (Pitman Painters) collection, creation of a new contemporary exhibition space within the Moothall Gallery (Hexham), and development of volunteering and research spaces across all sites. 

mima (Middlesbrough) (£299,922)
mima is opening up access to its internationally regarded jewellery collection,  to enhance understanding of contemporary jewellery. The unique collection charts the development of jewellery design from the inception of the New Jewellery Movement of the 1980s through to jewellery making in the 21st century. At the heart of the project is a major reconfiguration of an existing 'back of house' collection storage space at mima, into a public exhibition space. mima and Teesside University are combining their expertise to develop this permanent collection display, use technology to explore the collection, contribute to the study of jewellery, develop learning opportunities for a wide range of public and host a jeweller in residence to deliver a public programme.

The Renaissance Strategic support fund supports activity that will contribute to the Arts Council's goals as set out in Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone, particularly in ensuring that museums become more sustainable, resilient and innovative, and able to attract wider audiences.

The awards are for projects commencing in April 2013, and for activity up to 31 March 2014. The Arts Council has also supported 30 awards for activity across the two years 2013/14 and 2014/15.

Alison Clark-Jenkins, Regional Director, Arts Council England said, 'These projects in the north east demonstrate the commitment of museums to working collaboratively and exploring new models of operating in this challenging financial climate.  Our investment will see communities being put at the forefront giving more opportunities for people to engage with the fabulous collections in the region.'

An open application process for the third and final round of the Strategic support fund will open in autumn 2013, for activity commencing in April 2014. In this round, the Arts Council will be looking for ambitious projects that build on innovation, resilience and sustainability. Up to £8.6 million will be available.

The Strategic support fund is part of Arts Council England's Renaissance programme for regional museums in England. The Renaissance programme includes: the 16 successful Major partner museums; nine museum development providers; and a suite of National programmes including Accreditation, Designation, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the PRISM fund, support for national campaigns such as Kids in Museums and Museums at Night, and Subject specialist networks. The Strategic support fund is the final part of the Renaissance programme.

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For more information contact:

Kathryn Goodfellow, Senior Manager, Advocacy and Communications (North) 07725 660550 kathryn.goodfellow@artscouncil.org.uk

Notes to editors:

  • * This year, of the £17.8 million announced, £4.8 million will come from the 2014/15 budget. This means that up to £8.6 million will be left to apply for in 2014/15. In 2012/13 we awarded £1.5 million for multi-year awards to Museums Sheffield, Nottingham Museums and Derby Museums. These funds have come out of the budgets for 2013/14 and 2014/15.
  • Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries - from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk