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Towner Eastbourne among largest recipients of £24m ACE programme

Museums and heritage organisations are among 67 organisations to receive part of Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme funding

Museums and heritage institutions across England are among 67 recipients of the second round of Arts Council England’s £24.2m Capital Investment Programme.

The grants, which range between £100,000 and £750,000, will be used to fund building works and the purchase of equipment and other assets to improve access, seize technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact, the funding body said.

Among the recipients of the full £750,000 is Hereford Museum and Art Gallery which will use the capital to fund part of a major refurbishment and extension of its Grade II-listed museum and library building.

The project, also backed by Herefordshire Council, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Stronger Towns Fund, will see the creation of new galleries, display spaces, and temporary exhibition areas, alongside increased accessibility. Its historic Woolhope Club Room will be fully restored and new commercial areas including a retail space, a roof-top café and events and education space, roof terraces and a viewing beacon.

The capital will also partially fund the museum’s move toward the Passive House refurbishment standard, which aims to achieve high energy efficiency and reduce energy demands in retrofit projects.

In the South East, music and heritage centre Britten Pears Arts will use its £750,000 to make the range of buildings it owns fully accessible and environmentally sustainable. The organisation, which has an archive, heritage property and museum open to the public, also runs the classical music Aldeburgh Festival. It will begin work including technical upgrades, a roof installation, new seating and access improvements to Snape Maltings Concert Hall, as well as improvements towards the organisation’s energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

East Suffolk Council has received £600,000 to repurpose the Lowestoft Post Office, a vacant Grade II listed building, creating a new visitor attraction, including a gallery, to “build participation and grow the creative sector” in the area. It will use the capital to support the transformation of the heritage asset within central Lowestoft, into an arts and physical hub for the local creative sector.

Towner Eastbourne, which was awarded Art Fund’s Museum of the Year 2020, will use £750,000 for the fit out of a new gallery building at the upcoming Towner Seven Sisters site in the South Downs National Park. The site is expected to provide 600 square metres of exhibition space across three galleries.

The newly announced recipients are part of the second round of the Capital Investment Programme. The first round was announced in May 2022 and saw Arts Council England invest £22.7 million in 66 organisations.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “This infrastructure investment will help a whole range of different cultural organisations across England to flourish, increasing opportunities for people to enjoy creatively excellent cultural events close to where they live. It’s particularly important that we’re making this happen in communities where cultural investment has historically been low”.

Among the recipients are:

Backlit Nottingham

£480,657

BCP Council (Poole Museums) Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

£450,000

British Glass Foundation Dudley

£249,000

Britten Pears Arts East Suffolk

£750,000

Burton Art Gallery and Museum Torridge

£120,000

Durham County Council Museums & Collections County Durham

£500,000

East Suffolk Council East Suffolk

£600,000

Herefordshire Museums Libraries & Archives Herefordshire, County of

£750,000

MaldonPower Maldon

£290,833

Migration Museum Project Lewisham

£150,000

Modern Art Oxford Oxford

£200,000

Norwich City Council Norwich

£497,273

Our Big Picture Limited North East Lincolnshire

£180,000

Silk Museum Cheshire East

£165,000

St Albans Museums St Albans

£414,386

The Bronte Society Bradford

£100,000

The Garden Museum Lambeth

£125,229

The Postal Museum Camden

£400,000

Towner Art Gallery Eastbourne

£750,000