Stuart Anderson MP is encouraging local museums, galleries, libraries, and other cultural organisations across Wolverhampton South West to submit expressions of interest for new funding to level up access to the arts and culture, so that everyone can continue to enjoy England’s world class creative offer. The Government is investing up to £128 million to improve accessibility to the arts and safeguard its future. This will help to fund infrastructure projects at museums, improvements in local library services, and investment in community-focused cultural sites to ensure that these assets at the heart of communities help to drive regional economic growth and protect their unique local heritage for generations to come.
Overall, the Government has pledged to invest more than £850 million over the next three years in cultural and heritage infrastructure to safeguard national treasures and boost culture in local communities and on high streets. The latest round of funding being delivered through the Cultural Investment Fund includes the £30.8 million Cultural Development Fund to give people access to the arts and culture in areas with historically low levels of cultural engagement to support economic growth; the £20.5 million Libraries Improvement Fund to transform library services in England by helping them upgrade their buildings and improve digital infrastructure; and £60.3 million Museum Estate and Development Fund for museum maintenance and infrastructure works beyond their day-to-day budgets.
Stuart has welcomed a £16.9 million cash boost for the second round of the Museum Estate and Development Fund to help organisations in the sector improve their building for the benefit of visitors, staff, and their collections – tackling their maintenance backlogs and preserving our shared culture for communities to enjoy. The funding is part of the Government’s commitment in the Levelling Up White Paper to widen access to cultural opportunities in areas that have historically had lower levels of cultural investment - such as Wolverhampton. Museums can bid for grants of between £50,000 and £5 million from the 9th of May 2022. The deadline for bids is midday on the 17th of June 2022. More details can be found at www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/museum-estate-and-development-fund-mend-round-2.
Stuart Anderson MP said: “Our city’s rich heritage is showcased in our museums, galleries, libraries, and cultural venues, all of which we can be incredibly proud. I am delighted that Wolverhampton has been prioritised as a key destination for greater investment in arts and culture, and that the Government is now providing this extra funding to ensure our cherished cultural assets can be safeguarded for future generations to enjoy. I would encourage all local organisations in this sector to apply for this funding to upgrade their facilities, improve their infrastructure, and level up access to culture for everyone.”
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.”