Arts Council England re-launches Designation Scheme and appoints new Chair

The Designation Scheme will continue to have a clear focus on identifying collections of national significance and outstanding quality, through a revised application and assessment process.It identifies collections of national significance and quality throughout England, held outside of national museums, libraries and archives. Examples of these vital collections include those relating to William Wordsworth in Grasmere; the art and design collection at Westminster libraries and archives and the Mary Rose Tudor warship in Portsmouth.

As part of the relaunch Dr Stella Butler has been appointed as the new Chair of the Designation Panel and brings a wealth of experience to the role; she is currently University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection at the University of Leeds.
Scott Furlong, Director, Acquisitions, Exports, Loans and Collections Unit, Arts Council England (ACE), said the Scheme enables ACE to identify, celebrate and encourage the safeguarding of these extraordinary collections at a time when this seems more important than ever so that they can continue to develop and act as a source of inspiration and enjoyment for current and future generations.

“At the Arts Council we are passionate about collections and the way they enrich our lives. The Designation Scheme is a visible assertion of our belief in their enduring value,” he said.This is a really exciting time for the Scheme and we are particularly pleased to announce that Dr Stella Butler will be joining us as the newly appointed Chair of the Designation Panel. She brings an exemplary background of experience, a deep commitment to the importance of collections and tremendous enthusiasm for the Scheme and the collections recognised by it. We welcome Stella warmly and very much look forward to working with her.”

Arts Council England is looking to recruit four new members to the Designation Panel. The panel, which is made up of professionals from the fields of arts, cultural heritage and historical research, meets twice a year to consider applications for Designated status. Further details about the revised application and assessment process can be found here.