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

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 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

A young girl examines a museum display.

Case studies

Browse our case studies and see our museum funding in action

Latest news and blog posts

A man wearing a Roman helmet sits beside a young boy holding a gladiators helmet.

Museum experts appointed

Five new experts are joining our Accreditation Committee to help museums offer their visitors a great experience.

A row of old skulls

How to look after Human Remains

Hear about the team of specialists, funded through our Museum Resilience fund, who make sure anything the dead (and undead) leave behind gets the best possible care!

Arts Council Collection

The Arts Council Collection has today announced details of the exhibitions taking place throughout 2017 at its four National Partner galleries, The Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool; Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne; Birmingham Museums Trust and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

A sign reading: 'Representing Disability - Have your say'

Disability and collections

How Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums used a process of a research and consultation to transform the way they think about diversity

The new Design Museum

The next generation of design

The Design Museum's new home will significantly increase public engagement in the Designers in Residence talent programme.

Plymouth awarded £4.17m capital

Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery have made a successful application for £4,175,000 to our large Capital Investment programme to support world class spaces for contemporary art in the new History Centre, planned to open in 2020.

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Image captions
Top left to bottom right: 1. Beamish, The Living Museum of the North. Photo © Joel Fildes 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. Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery. Photo © Matt Austin/RAMM Exeter. 8. Living Worlds at Manchester Museum. © Manchester Museum 9. Benedict_Drew_KAPUT_2015_Image_by_Charlotte_Jopling 10. Event at the People's History Museum, Manchester 11. The new Design Museum © Gravity Road 12. No Credit Displaying 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