How revived £42m culture fund will work

Arts Council England has today revealed how the £42m Cultural Investment Fund will create a new infrastructure to start the long-term recovery of the arts, heritage and cultural sector in this financial year.

Funded by DCMS and administered by ACE the scheme has been devised to build on the momentum of the £1,57bn Culture Recovery Fund announced ed in July last year, working with Historic England and the National Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver three strands.

The scheme, originally announced by the former culture secretary Nicky Morgan in 2019 as a £250m five year programme and put on ice during the Covid emergency, will be divided into a Cultural Development Fund (CDF), Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND) and Libraries Improvement Fund (LIF).

“We believe that culture and the experiences it offers can have a deep and lasting effect on places and the people who live in them” said ACE’s deputy CEO Laura Dyer. “Investment in culture helps improve lives, regenerate neighbourhoods, support local economies, attract visitors and bring people together. This investment of £42m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will support a range of capital projects across England to support recovery, growth and the unlocking of creative potential as we emerge from the pandemic.” 

More than £4m from the scheme has already gone to Coventry City of Culture, which started on May 15, and £12m has been committed to the regeneration of the National Railway Museum in York.

The CDF, with a budget of £18.5m this financial year, is aimed at places outside of London to invest in creative, cultural and heritage initiatives designed to make places more attractive. Successful projects will reflect the needs of each area, bringing together partners such as a local authority, a university, or a Local Enterprise Partnership.

The MEND, for non-national accredited museums and has a budget of £18.8 million for this year to help museums with infrastructure and maintenance issues based on recommendations from the Mendoza Review of museums in England commissioned by DCMS in 2016. While supporting repairs, the fund can also be used towards improving accessibility and environmental sustainability.

The LIF”s £5m this financial year will help libraries to upgrade their facilities.

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