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CASH BOOST FOR MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

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Resource: Major Cash Boost for Museums and Galleries in the north-east, south-west and west Midlands ...
Resource: Major Cash Boost for Museums and Galleries in the north-east, south-west and west Midlands

The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries has today announced the funding for its ground-breaking programme to modernise and reinvigorate England's regional museums and galleries. The investment will enable better coordination and cooperation, creating a national network for regional museums to invest in new services for the nation.

Under the 'Renaissance in the Regions' programme a new framework has been established, with leading institutions serving as regional museum hubs in each of the nine English regions. Working with other museums and galleries in their region these hubs will lead a drive to raise standards, boost programmes for schools, attract new visitors, and improve the interpretation and accessibility of collections and displays. In February, Resource announced that the regional museum hubs in the north-east, south-west and west Midlands had been selected to spearhead the first phase of the Renaissance initiative.

Renaissance in the Regions has been allocated *£70m of central government funding up to 2006 - the first time sustained revenue funding from central government for regional museums has ever been received. During this first phase of the programme, three hubs will receive accelerated funding:

* north-east - £6.77m

* south-west - £9.67m

* west Midlands - £10.25m

A further £11.21m will be allocated to hubs in the other six English regions for capacity building and development work. Those hubs will receive further funding to fully implement a 'Renaissance' as soon as it becomes available.

Arts minister, Baroness Blackstone, said: 'This is the start of an important period of development for Regional Hubs, not just those in the first phase. We want to see these funds used to deliver high quality services which will attract new visitors to museums and serve better those who already come. This means investment i n new services to broaden access and support learning. It also means investment in collections, research and scholarship.'

Mark Wood, acting chair of Resource, commented: 'This investment in Renaissance in the Regions is intended to transform England's regional museums and galleries. We want them to become truly inspirational places, which contribute to formal education and lifelong learning, enrich local communities, and break new ground in the way they display and interpret their collections.

'We are delighted that this transformation can now begin to take place in the north-east, south-west and west Midlands, and those regions are already taking steps to appoint staff and allocate resources to be able to deliver their Renaissance. We very much want to extend this throughout the country and Resource is making the strongest representation to government. Renaissance in the Regions is a once in a lifetime opportunity to modernise and reinvigorate our museums and galleries which will benefit current and new users, and generations to come.'

A substantial sum from the Renaissance settlement will be used to deliver a new strategic programme for museum education: an important priority for both Resource and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Some £12m over three years will be devoted to a Museums Education Strategy, helping museums in the hubs to deliver the Renaissance vision, of a comprehensive and integrated service to schools. This will ensure that all school aged children between 5 and 16 years old have the opportunity to engage with the collection of our regional museums in a way which will stimulate, support and enrich their learning.

Distributions to Hubs 2003/04 to 2005/06

70:30 with 40 per cent shared equally, 60 per cent by population

2003/04 £m - 2004/05 £m - 2005/06 £m - Total £m

North-east 0.53 1.45 2.72 4.70

South-west 0.77 2.10 3.94 6.81

West Midlands 0.80 2.19 4.12 7.11

Phase 1 2.10 5.74 10.78 18.62

East Midlands 0.12 0.33 0.63 1.08

East of England 0.14 0.38 0.72 1.24

London 0.17 0.45 0.85 1.47

North-west 0.16 0.44 0.82 1.42

South-east 0.18 0.48 0.92 1.58

Yorkshire 0.13 0.37 0.69 1.19

Phase 2 0.90 2.45 4.63 7.98

Specialisms Fund 0.00 0.90 1.70 2.60

Total 3.00 9.09 17.11 29.20

Allocation of Education Strategy Funds 2003/04 to 2005/06

Planning only to Ph 2 in 2003/04, thereafter 70:30 Ph1/Ph2, 40 per cent equal shares 60 per cent school age population

2003/04 £m - 2004/05 £m - 2005/06 £m - Total £m

North-east 0.43 0.73 0.91 2.07

South-west 0.57 1.02 1.27 2.86

West Midlands 0.62 1.13 1.39 3.14

Phase 1 1.62 2.88 3.57 8.07

East Midlands 0.08 0.17 0.21 0.46

East of England 0.08 0.19 0.24 0.51

London 0.08 0.22 0.27 0.57

North-west 0.08 0.22 0.28 0.58

South-east 0.08 0.24 0.30 0.62

Yorkshire 0.08 0.18 0.23 0.49

Phase 2 0.48 1.22 1.53 3.23

Evaluation 0.30 0.30 0.30 0.90

Total 2.40 4.40 5.40 12.20

*£70m represents £30m of new funding added to £10m per year already allocated up to 2005/6.

Notes:

The proportion of funds applied to each Phase, 40 per cent is allocated in equal shares and 60 per cent in proportion to population. And a 70:30 funding allocation split between Regional Museum Hubs in Phase 1 and Phase 2 has been made.

Specialism Fund - This would involve holding back 10 per cent of the money available to be used to encourage partnerships between hubs and allow them to develop specialist expertise in an area of current strength.

In December 2000, in response to growing concern about the state of regional museums, Chris Smith, the then-secretary of state for culture, media and sport, set up a task force to develop a national strategic framework for re gional museums and galleries in England. The task force published its findings in October 2001 in the report, Renaissance in the Regions: A New Vision for England's Museums. The reportrecommended the creation of a 'hub' in each of the nine English regions, consisting of a leading museum and up to three partner museums, which would work together to provide leadership in museum practice and improve standards in the museums sector.

Resource's registration scheme recognises 1,860 institutions. These range widely from the biggest national museums to one room institutions. They may be funded by central or local government, by universities, or through admission charges and commercial operations. Museums are among the UK's most popular attractions. Over 77 million visits are made to them each year - more than to any other category of visitor attraction. Within the UK population a third of adults have visited a museum in the past year.

Renaissance in the Regions: A New Vision for England's Museums is available on the Resource website.

Resource provides the strategic leadership, advocacy and advice to enable museums, archives and libraries to touch people's lives and inspire their imagination, learning and creativity.

http://www.resource.gov.uk

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