England has some of the finest regional museums in the world with extraordinary collections ranging from the earliest prehistory to modern art and science. The Arts Council is the development body for English regional museums, with responsibility for effective investment and advocacy for all Accredited museums.

Our investment will help museums in three key areas:

Great museums for all

We invest in Major partner museums to support the development of some of England’s finest museums. Major partner museums play an important leadership role for the wider sector. The Designation development scheme, V&A Purchase Grant Fund and PRISM provide funding to develop excellent collections.


At a challenging time for the sector we support museums in becoming increasingly resilient. The Museum resilience fund is the Arts Council’s main fund for museums. Museum Development provides a national network of advice and support for all Accredited museums.

National programmes

Accreditation and Designation underpin the development of the sector.

Statutory schemes like Acceptance in Lieu and Cultural Gifts bring outstanding collections into UK museums.

Latest blog

The Amazing Carly Hearn and the Arts Council’s Museum Resilience Fund

Our Director of Museums, John Orna-Ornstein, blogs about the work about one of this country's extraordinary curators and the impact of our Museum resilience fund.

Read the blog here

Latest publication

The Economic Impact of Museums in England (March 2015)

Museums have a major impact to local and national economies. Findings of this report include the economic output of museums to the national economy is £1.45 billion.

Read the report here

Top image: Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter City Council. Matt Austin.
Bottom image: Viking schools workshop. National Maritime Museum, Cornwall

Social media images one and twoRoyal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter City Council
Social media image threeViking schools workshop. National Maritime Museum, Cornwall