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Major new grant funding for cultural institutions

24 Jan 2012

The partnership of Manchester City Galleries, Whitworth Art Gallery and The Manchester Museum today received confirmation of three year’s major grant funding from Arts Council England (ACE).

Whitworth Art Gallery
Whitworth Art Gallery

They join a list of only 16 major museum partners across the country to receive this funding.

The Arts Council received 29 eligible applications for major partner funding, requesting a total of £116 million over three years. The 16 successful applicants requested £23.5 million a year against an annual budget of approximately £20 million.

The exact amounts of each major partner's awards will be finalised as part of the negotiations of their funding agreements. This represents a significant and vital investment in Manchester’s major museum and galleries.

ACE judged the partnership proposal as outstanding, commending the work the three organisations do with their internationally recognised collections, the strength and diversity of their work with audiences in Manchester and across the region and their innovative work with children and young people. 

The award reflects the success of the strategic partnership between Manchester City Council and The University of Manchester, established last year with the appointment of Dr Maria Balshaw as joint Director of Manchester City Galleries and Whitworth Art Gallery. It enables partnership venues to further increase their contribution to the city’s cultural life, with the development of:

·        City-wide learning programmes, using Manchester’s remarkable collections, focused particularly on engaging families and older people and building on distinctive strengths such as arts and health and volunteering

·        An international exhibitions programme, building on each organisations’ distinctive strengths, bringing these together for the benefit of visitors

·        Shared approaches to promoting cultural tourism, retail, environmental sustainability and fundraising to make all three organisations financially resilient.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “Manchester is working hard to realise its ambitions to become a world-class cultural city. This major grant to three of the city’s finest cultural institutions is a fantastic endorsement of our lively artistic scene and great track record in sharing our cultural wealth with the widest possible audiences.”

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester, said: “I’m delighted that the groundbreaking partnership between the University of Manchester and Manchester City Council has been recognised as outstanding by Arts Council England.   This award recognises our regional and national excellence and will ensure these three great  institutions continue to offer intellectual, cultural and artistic leadership for the city region and beyond.”

Sarah Maxfield, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: "The Manchester Museums Partnership will play a significant and important role in leading the wider museums sector to achieve excellence. The Manchester Museums Partnership made an outstanding proposal demonstrating aspirations to continue and broaden their reach through engagement with wider and more diverse audiences."


Notes for editors

About Whitworth Art Gallery

The Whitworth Art Gallery is part of The University of Manchester. It is home to internationally renowned collections of modern art, textiles, watercolours, prints, drawings and sculpture. Created in 1908 as the first English gallery in a park, the Whitworth is today developing a new vision for the role of a university gallery, and is forging stronger connections between park, community and landscape through its development and extension.

Entry to the gallery is free.

Opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 12-4pm.

About The Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum is the UK’s largest university museum and all of its collections are designated by the government as being of national and international importance. As a university museum, The Manchester Museum uses its international collection of human and natural history for enjoyment and inspiration. Working with people from all backgrounds, the Museum provokes debate and reflection about the past, present and future of the earth and its inhabitants.

The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL.

T: 0161 275 2634 F: (0)161 275 2676

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery is a place people come to enjoy and learn about extraordinary art and we welcome more than 400,000 visitors each year. The gallery’s collection spans six hundred years and is celebrated for its 19th century British paintings, especially its major Pre-Raphaelite works. New Director Dr Maria Balshaw is focusing on these rich historic collections and giving them contemporary resonance through an increasingly bold programme of exhibitions and displays.

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL

Tel: 0161 235 8888 Textphone: 0161 235 8893

Open Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am – 5pm

Closed Monday (except Bank Holidays)

Free entry

Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall

The Gallery of Costume, based at Platt Hall in Rusholme, houses our Designated collections of clothing and fashion accessories, one of the largest collections in Britain. Following a major eighteen month refurbishment project it reopened in March 2010.

Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall, Rusholme, Manchester, M14 5LL

Tel: 0161 245 7245

Open Wednesday-Saturday 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Free entry

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £0.85 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.