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

Top line-up at the Foundling

Jarvis Cocker, Marina Warner, Thomas Heatherwick and Jeannette Winterson are just some of the artists participating in the Grants for the Arts funded exhibition.

Mary Rose reopens

Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth will use investment from the Arts Council to digitise its archaeological archive.

A bright blue painting featuring portraits and bottles of hair product.

Is It Okay To Be Black?

British artist Hurvin Anderson’s new painting for the Arts Council Collection asks, Is It Okay to be Black?

Brightly coloured and exotic plants

Plant life in modern art

This Arts Council Collection exhibition brings together art that investigates the links between people and plants.

A grey haired man in a blue jumped looks towards his friend

Saving survivor stories

Soon, we will no longer be able to hear first-hand from Holocaust Survivors. Supported by our funding, the National Holocaust Centre, has found a way to keep their stories alive forever

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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. No Credit Displaying 8. Nottingham Lights up the Night. Photo © Gerry Molumby / Nottingham Castle 9. Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Image © Gareth Gardner 10. Hurvin Anderson, Is It Ok To Be Black (2016). Photo © courtesy of the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London 11. Marc Quinn, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. Photo © Marc Quinn. 12. Steven Frank. Photo © The National Holocaust Centre / The Forever Project 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