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Cultural venues in England to receive up to £128m in funding

Cultural venues in England to receive up to £128 million in funding (Ian West/PA)
Cultural venues in England to receive up to £128 million in funding (Ian West/PA)

Cultural venues across England are due to benefit from up to £128 million of funding to help improve accessibility to the arts, the Government has announced.

Public libraries, galleries and museums are among the venues that are due to benefit from the money, which will also be used to help safeguard the institutions’ futures.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said the funds would ensure the protection of the “heart of communities” and their “unique local heritage”.

It follows a previous Government allocation of £48 million which was distributed to 60 organisations earlier this year.

Institutions are being encouraged to submit interest now to receive the financial support in the latest tranche of funding.

The funding will be distributed among three main areas, with £30.8 million given to a Cultural Development Fund which aims to increase access to arts and culture in areas of low engagement.

Local library services will be improved with a £20.5 million Libraries Improvement Fund, and urgent museum maintenance and infrastructure works will be funded through a £63.3 million Museum Estate Development Fund. Further details of the funding allocation will be announced in the future.

Support will be targeted to areas which have historically had lower levels of cultural investment as part of the Government’s commitment to levelling up access to culture across the country, the DCMS said.

Funding will be targeted on locally-led cultural projects, museums and public libraries in England.

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson said: “Cultural institutions form the heart of communities across the country and it is important that we provide them with the support they need.

“This funding will help make culture more accessible to everyone, including people who may not have enjoyed its benefits before,  as well as supporting vital maintenance work to secure the future of many venues.

“It is an important part of our plan to level up the country, for the benefit of everybody.”

Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, added: “Artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries have the power to animate and energise villages, towns and cities in amazing and innovative ways.

“This new investment in culture and creativity will help people across the country to enjoy happier lives.”

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