33 museums and galleries to receive share of £4m DCMS/Wolfson funding

The funding is hoped to improve both accessibility and sustainability at the locations, 26 of which are outside of London.

A total of 33 museums and galleries in England are to receive a share of £4m funding from the joint DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.

DCMS and the Wolfson Foundation contributed £2 million to this round of the fund, which is now in its 20th year and has backed a total of 400 projects.

In this latest round of funding, the People’s History Museum in Manchester will receive a grant of £214,300 to improve access to the museum for people with disabilities. Accessible doors, lifts and toilets are to be installed, alongside improved stairs and walkways with handrails and ramps.

The National Motor Museum in the New Forest will use its grant of £200,000 to install new heating and lighting to improve environmental performance. Abbot Hall Art Gallery, in Kendal, will use £40,500 to review its environmental controls for collections to reduce energy use.

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said the funding “will help people who may have previously found visiting museums and galleries difficult and make sure everyone can enjoy and engage with the wonderful collections and exhibitions they offer.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: “While the projects funded are many and varied, they will all improve access to the treasures of our museums and galleries – allowing more people to enjoy and learn from these impressive collections, as well as safeguarding them for the future.”

Successful projects by region:

East Midlands

Pickford’s House: £71,700 for The Reimagined Home: Changing views of Home, Work and Family for an Inclusive, Digital Age

East of England

Food Museum: £89,600 for Bridge to the Future


Grant Museum of Zoology: £100,000 for Species under threat

Royal College of Music Museum: £33,000 for Bringing early instruments to life through 3D modelling

Jewish Museum London: £80,000 for Build of new collections storerooms: Under-represented heritage

Museum of the Home: £200,000 for Homes Through Time Redux

London Transport Museum: £80,000 for LTM Lab

The Wallace Collection: £50,000 for the creation of a new display space and relocation of the cloakroom

Natural History Museum (South Kensington): £100,000 for Mammals Galleries Project (Mammals Hall)

North East

Oriental Museum: £104,500 for New Voices: Redisplaying and Reinterpreting the Malcolm MacDonald Gallery of Chinese Art and Archaeology

The Bowes Museum: £254,900 for Inspiring Communities – Collections, Curiosity and Conversations

North West

People’s History Museum: £214,300 for Nothing About Us Without Us – Creating Access for Everyone at People’s History Museum

Manchester Art Gallery: £150,000  for transforming storage and access for Manchester’s Civic Collection

The Whitworth: £80,000 for The Whitworth Welcome

Abbot Hall Art Gallery: £40,500 for Testing Ground

South East

Discover Bucks Museum: £60,000 for Creating Collections Capacity

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust: £100,000 for No.1 Smithery – Forging the future of display, conservation, and interpretation of maritime collections.

Mary Rose Museum: £74,900 for safeguarding and storing the Mary Rose Collection and Archive

Museum of English Rural Life: £54,300 for Developing Display: Improving Exhibition Spaces at St Andrew’s Hall

Museum of Natural History: £125,000 for Life, as we know it – Redisplaying Oxford University Museum of Natural History

National Motor Museum: £200,000 for Motoring into the Future – Phase 1

Hampton Court Palace: £201,400 for Re-opening of the Wolsey Rooms and re-interpretation of an iconic Tudor Art collection

South West

Tate St Ives: £54,300 for Barbara Hepworth Museum Accessibility Ramp

The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum: £202,500 for Making Connections

Torquay Museum: £250,000 for Journey through the Ice Age – re-engaging communities with our Designated Quaternary collection

The Etches Collection – Museum of Jurassic Marine Life: £219,500 for protecting and preserving our internationally important fossil collection

The Tank Museum: £100,000 for the transition to passive storage

National Maritime Museum Cornwall: £237,000 for revitalising the museum’s boat hall

West Midlands

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery: £150,000 for enabling the redisplay of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s (BMAG) Ancient Civilizations Galleries

Yorkshire and The Humber

Experience Barnsley Museum & Discovery Centre: £37,500  for Barnsley’s Chamber of Treasures

National Science and Media Museum: £100,000 for Sound & Vision

Kelham Island Museum: £45,000 for More to See

Temple Newsam: £140,100 for What the Butler Saw: revealing treasures, improving access and creating capacity at Temple Newsam House