Lobbying for change

We not only support museums through our grants programmes, fundraising campaigns and marketing initiatives; we also champion museums and galleries across the UK.

The Wedgwood Museum, Staffordshire. We are heavily engaged in talks over the future of the Wedgwood Collection following a High Court judgement that it could be sold to fund a pension deficit.

We worked with partners to bring about free admission to national museums, and for several years we have campaigned for the introduction and maintenance of tax incentives to encourage gifts of art to museums. We have always been vocal in trying to prevent any proposals to sell works of art from public collections for financial reasons.

We also try to encourage debate about museums and the objects within them – for example, by holding a Directors' Debate in the summer to coincide with the Museum of the Year ceremony.

We campaign publicly as well as behind the scenes for a range of government policy changes to make museums better places. Our work is focused on three core areas:

  • Working with other sector bodies to lobby for local and national support for museums to be maintained despite governmental cuts. Please see our policy on museum cuts and closures.
  • Increasing philanthropic gifts through campaigning for tax and other incentives to encourage lifetime donations, such as the Cultural Gifts Scheme (see A Guide to Giving Art for more information).
  • Seeking ways to stop works of art in the public domain from being sold and lost from public view, most recently focused on the Wedgwood Collection in Staffordshire, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery’s sculpture of Sekhemka and Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman.

If there is a sale, closure or other issue you think we need to be aware of or more vocal about, please let us know by contacting Karen Wright, Public Affairs and Policy Manager, at kwright@artfund.org.