Supporting museums

Hand drawn iIllustration by Supermundane with lots of intricate lines and patterns

England has some of the finest regional museums in the world with extraordinary collections ranging from the earliest prehistory to modern art and science. From 2015–18, we are investing over £118 million in museums through our 21 Major Partner Museums, as well as strategic funds and grants.

The Arts Council is the development body for English regional museums, and we have responsibility for effective investment and advocacy for all accredited museums.

We believe in the power of our museums to enrich the cultural lives of people in England. Our focus for 2015–18 is on building the resilience of our museums, and helping them to form partnerships and make the most of the resources available.

Find out more

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Tax relief for exhibitions

Museums and galleries which are charities can claim tax relief for qualifying expenditure on exhibitions, including those that tour.

Two children and a parent, in silhouette, stand in front of a display of model boats.

Accreditation Scheme

Sets out national standards to ensure museums are sustainable, focused and trusted organisations

A young boy looks at a tank of bubbles in a sensory room.

Funding finder

Take a look at our funding programmes available to museums

A man at the other end of a large hall looks out through one of several large windows towards the sea.

Our research

Search and explore our research on the museum sector

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Case studies

Browse our case studies and see our museum funding in action

Latest news and blog posts

Girl holding small turtle

Imagine a Museum

John Orna-Ornstein blogs about how museums are subverting our expectations

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Image captions
Top left to bottom right: 1. Photo © Jill Jennings / Wakefield Museum, courtesy of Wakefield Council 2. Model Boat Case at National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Photo © Toby Weller / National Maritime Museum Cornwall. 3. Plymouth Music Zone participants making music. Photo © Plymouth Music Zone / Kevin Clifford. 4. Scattered by Motionhouse. Photo © Chris Nash / Motionhouse 5. Atmosphere by Edmund de Waal at Turner Contemporary. Photo © Benjamin Beker. 6. Pitt Rivers Museum. Photo © University of Oxford. 7. Man doing pottery 8. The Spring - Monster Museum Trail 9. Oxford Christmas Lights Festival, December 2013. Photo courtesy of Oxford City Council. All rights reserved. 10. Hanging Zebra, sculpted clay by Marieke Ringel. Image © Marieke Ringel 11. Derrin Crawford & Demi-Leigh Cruickshank in 'The Liver Birds' LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012. Photo © Alice Hawkins. 12. © Volunteer Makers 13. Land Speed Record Toys. Photo © Tom Wood / National Motor Museum 14. 'Transe Express' by Seachange Arts at the Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts, 2015. Photo © David Street / Streetview Marketing 15. Rifco Arts: Break the Floorboards @ Watford Palace Theatre, 2013. Photo © Manuel Harlan. 16. Daniel Copeland performs Joseph Coelho's Tree Child on the Spark Arts tour. Photo © Pamela Raith Photography / The Spark Arts 17. New Wolsey Youth Theatre's Through The Looking Glass. Photo © Mike Kwasniak 18. Musiko Musika's ECCO Concert at Southbank Centre, February 2014. Photo © Harriet Armstrong / Musiko Musika. 19. It's A Wonderful Life by New Wolsey Theatre. Photo © Mike Kwasniak. 20. Love is Enough: William Morris and Andy Warhol exhibition at Modern Art Oxford. Photo © Andy Keate