Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund extended for three more years

  • Published 15 November 2019

Museums nationwide will benefit from a further £810k of funding through the programme, which provides funding and training for regional museums and galleries to secure important strategic loans from national collections.

Hereford Cider Museum, which will host loans from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew for an exhibition, Victoria: the Age of the Apple. Photo: Hereford Cider Museum Trust

Hereford Cider Museum, which will host loans from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew for an exhibition, Victoria: the Age of the Apple. Photo: Hereford Cider Museum Trust

We’re pleased to announce that Art Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation are extending the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund for three more years, with a further £810,000 investment pledged by the Foundation.

The programme, established in 2017, is designed to fund and empower regional and smaller local authority museums to borrow major works of art from national collections. To date, Garfield Weston has invested £750,000 in individual borrowing grants, project management, training and evaluation through this groundbreaking programme.

The Weston Loan Programme has dramatically boosted visitor numbers – on average by 40% – through increased access to a wide lending pool with works by Master painters such as Rembrandt and Stubbs, and treasures including the 12th-century Becket Casket, going on loan to local museums.

Sophia Weston, Trustee, Garfield Weston Foundation said: ‘When we first set out to create this programme, we had no idea it would be so successful or capture so many people’s imagination. We were determined that it should continue so that many more regional museums and communities across the UK could continue to benefit. Forging lasting connections between national collections and more local centres with equally fascinating treasures has been so important and inspiring – we look forward to seeing the partnerships that will develop over the next few years.’

Lynda Powell, director of Green Howards Museum in Richmond, which was able to bring items including artefacts from the Fabergé workshop to North Yorkshire through the Weston Loan Programme, commented on its benefits: ‘The Weston Loan with Art Fund has enabled our museum to loan objects from nationals for the first time. Our team has developed new skills in the management of loans and just as importantly new multi-disciplinary collaborative ways of working. We are now able to confidently plan a programme of future loans which will complement our own collections.’

This year's Weston Loan projects

We are also pleased to announce the final 13 museums to benefit from the first phase of the Weston Loan Programme. Grants totalling £196,000 have been awarded through this year’s funding pot to 13 museums across England, Wales and Scotland, with loans of works of art and objects going on display from 2020 onwards.

The 13 successful recipients for this year are:

  • Yorkshire Museum and Gardens, York, Yorkshire (£17,625). Support towards Richard III: Coming Home. Includes loans from the National Portrait Gallery.
  • Doncaster's Culture and Learning Centre, Doncaster, Yorkshire (£8,539). Support towards Heritage Doncaster, Double Take. Includes loans from the Arts Council Collection.
  • Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar, Yorkshire (£25,000). Support towards Nordic by Nature. Includes loans from the British Museum.
  • Pontefract Museum, Pontefract, Yorkshire (£7,700). Support towards Bracing Air, Abundant Amusements: The Travel Posters of Charles Pears. Includes loans from the National Railway Museum and V&A.
  • Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, Ealing, London (£5,000). Support towards Hogarth’s A Rake's Progress: Life in the City. Includes a loan from Sir John Soane’s Museum.
  • The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh, Brecon, Wales (£5,776). Support towards The Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh. Includes a loan from the British Library.
  • Oriel Ynys Mon, Llangefni, Wales (£10,746). Support towards William Roos: Portrait of a Welsh Artist. Includes loans from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the National Library of Wales.
  • Elgin Museum, Elgin, Scotland (£23,270). Support towards Elgin Museum, At the Water's Edge. Includes a loan from National Museums Scotland.
  • Wiltshire Museum, Devizes, SW England (£24,950). Support towards Eric Ravilious: Downland Man. Includes loans from V&A, British Museum, Imperial War Museum, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and Tate.
  • Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance, SW England (£9,270). Support towards Laura Knight exhibition. Includes a loan from IWM.
  • Reading Museum jointly with University of Reading, SE England (£17,900). Support towards Rubens to Sickert: The Study of Drawing. Includes loans from the British Museum and Arts Council Collection.
  • Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, SE England (£25,000). Support towards Coming up to Standard. Includes a loan from the British Museum.
  • Hereford Cider Museum, Hereford, W Midlands (£15,583). Support towards Victoria: the Age of the Apple. Includes a loan from Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

Find out more about the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.