Twenty three nationwide museums and libraries in the UK will benefit from a £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The cash will enable several institutions to add to their collections over a five-year period. The fund has been specifically earmarked to develop collections in specialist areas.
The first Collecting initiatives were awarded in 2008, to enable more than 2,000 objects to be purchased. One example, the projects to develop a collection of Polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, saved important documents for the nation. Other successful applicants for the new round of grants includes £95,900 for the Museum of London to acquire items about experimental photography, and £90,000 for the University of Glasgow Archive Service’s textile collection.
Projects encompassing football-related art, children’s literature and archaeology have also been awarded money from the fund, which ultimately aims to improve collections and public involvement with them. Carole Souter, chief executive of the HLF, said: “Curators will be able to ‘go shopping’ with their HLF grant, researching to identify works of art, images and objects that they would like to purchase.
“HLF is the only funding body that currently offers this type of advance funding support for museums, libraries and archives,” she added. Culture minister Ed Vaizey said: “Collecting Cultures is a wonderful opportunity for organisations to further enrich their collections and it’s great to see plans for really fascinating additions to museums, libraries and archives across the country.
August saw the highest ever visitor numbers to UK museums and galleries, according to official statistics, published today. A total of 5,899,043 visits were recorded in that month, the highest monthly total since records began.
Visits to the museums and galleries in August 2014 were up by more than half a million, 10.5% higher than in August 2013.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:This is outstanding news. Our museums are world beaters with their priceless collections, their scholarship and their impeccable customer service, so it is fantastic to see that this is matched by visit numbers.
We have invested so that the big national museums and galleries offer free entry for all, and these figures provide a glorious vindication for that policy.