Enriching Regions - a new collecting scheme for regional museums

  • 24 October 2006

The Art Fund has launched an exciting new initiative, specifically targeted at the UK's three poorest regions for collecting.

The new scheme, which was made possible thanks to generous funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, will mean up to £45,000 per region is available to museums in the East Midlands, East of England and West Midlands to help develop their collections. 

The scheme, Enriching Regions: The Art Fund Collecting Scheme, has been devised in direct response to research The Art Fund undertook earlier this year. The Collecting Challenge: The Art Fund Museum Survey 2006 found that many museums are no longer actively collecting, and that almost 70% now acquire new material mainly or solely by gift.

It found that the three poorest regions in collecting terms are the East Midlands, West Midlands and the East of England, and that local authority-owned and independent museums are the types of museum that are least able to collect.  The scheme is specifically designed to assist the museums with the greatest need.

Museums can apply for up to 100% of the cost of the work (minimum grant of £2,000), but priority will be given to those museums that can also find local funding – perhaps from a patron or local business. The Art Fund is keen to encourage museums to build and develop relationships with local donors and has arranged for Arts & Business – a not for profit organisation set up to assist businesses and arts organisations in creating partnerships – to be available to any museum wishing to develop skills in this area. 

This is the second time The Art Fund has put together a funding initiative with support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.  In June 2003 a £100,000 scheme was launched in Northern Ireland designed to enhance museums and gallery acquisitions. 

The initiative helped nine museums acquire 29 new objects for their collections, almost half 100% funded.  The Northern Ireland scheme was so successful that another £50,000 was earmarked in April 2006, which has so far awarded grants to another four museums.

Enriching Regions will run from 1 November 2006 – 1 November 2007 and will be open to accredited local authority-owned and independent museums and galleries in the East Midlands, West Midlands and East of England.  For further information please contact Sarah Philp in the Grants Office on 020 7225 4803.

Related Links:

Read the key findings of The Art Fund Museum Survey 2006

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation