35 Museums and Galleries to share £4 million Wolfson Fund

Thirty-five museums across the country will receive a share of £4 million to increase access to their collections,  the Wolfson Foundation announced yesterday.

Over 80% of the funding awarded went to museums and galleries outside of London. All awards can be viewed on this Google map.

The DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund supports national and regional museums across England to improve the quality of displays, enhance exhibition spaces and public access, and increase awareness of their collections.

Jointly funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and philanthropic charity, the Wolfson Foundation, the fund has so far given £48 million to help 382 projects at 114 museum groups and galleries since it was started in 2001.

The Wolfson Fund aims to provide capital funding for museums and galleries across England to deliver projects in one or a number of the following key areas:

o Material improvements to the display and interpretation of collections, in both permanent galleries and exhibition spaces;
o Improvements to access and/or interpretation for visitors with disabilities;
o Physical improvements to public spaces to enhance visitor experience; and/or
o Improvements to environmental controls, collections storage and conservation facilities to enhance the care of collections.

Successful projects by region are as follows:

South West

o Dorset County Museum, Tomorrow’s Museum for Dorset: Collections Care and Access – £175,000;
o National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Investment in infrastructure to support our developing major temporary exhibition programme – £96,500;
o Russell-Cotes, Bournemouth, Reinterpretation and Reconnecting Project – £115,500;
o Southampton City Art Gallery, Lighting Up – £98,000;
o SS Great Britain, Bristol, SS Great Britain environmental monitoring improvements and Conservation in Action display – £50,000;
o Tank Museum, Wareham, Second World War Galleries Redisplay (Phase 1) – £120,000
o The Wilson, Cheltenham, Observation, Imagination and Making; 100 years on – Ernest Gimson and the Arts and Crafts Movement – £100,000

North West

o Chetham’s Library, Manchester, Opening up Chetham’s Library – £25,500;
o Manchester Museum, Manchester Museum: hello future – £190,000;
o People’s History Museum, Manchester, Improving Storage at the People’s History Museum –
o Tullie House, Carlisle, ‘Dressed to Impress’: Showcasing a collection of national significance; transforming a historic space – £252,500.

East of England

o Museum of East Anglian Life, Heritage Farm: enabling the masterplan – £250,000.

West Midlands

o Black Country Living Museum, BCLM: Forging Ahead, Cast-Iron Houses – £90,000;
o Potteries Museum, Stoke-On-Trent, ‘Operation Spitfire’ – £210,000.

Yorkshire and the Humber

o Cannon Hall Museum, Cracking Ceramics! – £60,000;
o Hull Maritime Museum, Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City – £150,000;
o Weston Park, Sheffield, Stories from Ancient Egypt to Sheffield – £187,000.

East Midlands

o Derby Silk Mill, Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill – Enhancing the temporary exhibition space – £90,000;
o National Holocaust Centre, Nottingham, Enhancing the Visitor Experience at The National Holocaust Centre and Museum – £31,000;
o Nottingham Castle, The Story of Nottingham Lace: a new Lace Gallery in Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery – £200,000.

North East

o Stephenson Railway Museum, North Shields, Pioneers from the Dawn of Railways: Killingworth Billy & the Willington Waggonway (The Stephensons – North Tyneside to the world) – £94,500;
o Sunderland Museum, Sunderland Museum, Library and Winter Gardens Development (Phase 2 – Increasing Audiences) – £156,000;
o Oriental Museum Durham, Silk Road Gallery – £50,000.

South East

o Bucks County Museum, Touch of Bucks Gallery Redevelopment – £200,000;
o Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Essential Enhancements to the Victorian Ropery Gallery and Visitor Experience – £100,000;
o Luton Culture, Hat Works – The renovation and reanimation of the heritage of Luton’s Industrial past – £100,000;
o Pitt Rivers, Oxford, Engaging the senses: activating the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Photograph and Sound Collections through digital audio-visual technology – £70,500.


o Courtauld Gallery, Courtauld Connects – £100,000;
o Geffrye Museum, Unlocking the Geffrye: Collections Study Room and Reading Lounge – £90,000;
o Horniman Museum and Gardens, Music in the Making – Gallery Improvements – £90,000;
o IWM London, Transforming IWM London: Phase 2 – £100,000;
o London Transport Museum, London’s Transport at War – bringing the story to life – £82,500;
o Petrie Museum, London, Petrie and Edwards: Gateway to the World of Egyptology – £110,000;
o Science Museum, London: Science City – £70,000;
o Tate Britain, Tate Britain New Displays 2020: Gallery Improvements – £70,500.

Further information is available on the Wolfson Foundation website.