I go to museums a lot; it’s part of Arts Council keeping fully in touch with what’s happening around the country. But Friday was unusual even for me. I visited all eight Cambridge University museums and galleries in a single day: an exhausting, inspiring whistle stop tour.
Today Arts Council England announces its National portfolio of arts organisations and its Major partner museums for 2015-18.
I believe the decisions we’ve made reward ambition. We have looked to the future, investing in work for children and young people, and seeking to develop talent, wherever it emerges. We’ve sought to reach into more communities, while continuing to invest in arts organisations that have done great things in the last three years; we want them to build on their past work, and go further.
I’m not good with heights, never have been, never will be. So climbing a hundred foot up the main mast of ss Great Britain in Bristol to mark the launch of a new heritage experience – Go Aloft! – was always going to be a challenge.
It is just over a year since we announced the first museums funded through our Renaissance programme. Here Hedley Swain, Director, Museums, takes a look at what has been achieved since then.
Last month we announced a £17 million investment in English regional museums through the latest round of the Renaissance Strategic support fund, a good time to reflect on how much has happened since we first assumed responsibility for museums at the Arts Council in October 2011 and some of the challenges currently facing us.