Arts Council England (ACE) has announced the allocations of its £3m-a-year funding pot for museum development across the nine regions of England for 2015-18.
The allocations have been distributed in line with the 2012-15 funding round, with an increase roughly in line with inflation.
This means the north-east, which has one museum development officer (MDO) covering over 50 museums, remains the lowest allocation at £441,000, compared with £1.57m for the south-east (including the Hampshire Solent), which has five MDOs and one cultural partnerships officer covering over 300 museums.
A number of regions are looking at ways of making the funding go further.
The north-east is considering aligning its museum development programme with its Major Partner Museum programme, both of which are run from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.
The West Midlands is considering reducing the number of MDOs (it currently has six) in the region to direct more money to commissioning and delivering projects across its museums.
And a number of MDOs are looking to strengthen their partnerships across their regions and the wider country, and share resources through the national MDO network.
ACE funding for museum development is drawn from the strategic fund but is not ringfenced. All of ACE’s funds beyond 2016 are subject to confirmation following the next comprehensive spending review.
All allocations are subject to confirmation following the submission of business plans by museum development providers. Providers must submit their business plans to ACE by 7 November, and the arts council is looking to confirm the allocations by the end of February.
Bristol’s Museums, Galleries & Archives (south-west): £1.35m
Norfolk Museums Service (east): £1,188,000
Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (West Midlands): £864,000
Museum of London (London): £729,000
Manchester City Galleries (north-west): £990,000
York Museums Trust (Yorkshire): £945,000
Leicestershire County Council (East Midlands): £872,745
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (north-east): £441,000
Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove (south-east): £1,575,000
A news analysis on museum development will be in the November issue of Museums Journal.
We said the south-east has 10 MDOs covering 160 museums, in fact it has five MDOs and one cultural partnerships officer covering over 300 museums in the south-east and Hampshire Solent.