Art Fund welcomes £55 million to boost heritage philanthropy

  • 4 July 2011

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a new funding initiative which will help secure funding for museums and galleries in the long-term.

The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire

The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a new funding initiative which will help secure funding for museums and galleries in the long-term.

The £55 million scheme which will be chaired by Michael Portillo, former Cabinet Minister and Chair of the Art Fund Prize 2011, will help arts and heritage institutions secure their future financial stability by building endowment funds.

Organisations will be able to bid for grants of up to £5 million to support endowment fundraising from the Endowment Fund, which will be available to match funds raised from private donors. Bids will be reviewed by an independent advisory panel chaired by Michael Portillo.

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund commented: "Today's announcement should help boost philanthropic giving to museums and galleries in the long term. This is great news, but we need to bring fresh thinking for the short term too: many smaller museums still face a grave struggle for survival following the recent funding cuts."

The £55 million is part of a £100 million Government, Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund pledge to support philanthropy. £80 million of this was announced by Jeremy Hunt in December 2010. The original funding pot was made up of £50 million from Arts Council England and £30 million from DCMS. Today this was boosted by an additional £20 million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) contribution.

How can organisations apply?
Museums and galleries will have to raise money from private philanthropic sources to gain income from the scheme. Different leverage ratios will be required for grants of different sizes, but these should on average raise £2 from private sources for every £1 of public funding. In addition, a £40 million philanthropy programme, Catalyst Arts, is designed to help arts organisations raise money through philanthropy.

What are endowments?
Endowments are typically large funds held in perpetuity by organisations, helping to provide long term financial security by contributing to annual running costs through the interest earned by the fund. They are often used in the US by large cultural institutions but are less common in the UK.