New £250 million Culture Investment Fund launched

Investment will drive local growth, support young people, and reinforce culture’s role at the heart of communities

Innovative cultural projects, libraries, museums and creative industries will benefit from £250m of new funding for the culture and creative sector, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Of this new funding over £125m will be invested in regional museums and libraries around the country.  More than £90m will be provided to extend the Cultural Development Fund which uses investment in heritage, culture and creativity to drive regeneration and growth.

A further £18.5 million has been allocated to York’s National Railway Museum, and an extra £7 million for Coventry and the UK City of Culture programme.

In total, over the next 5 years, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will invest an additional £50 million each year in culture and the creative industries across England to revitalise existing assets and to support new cultural development.

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

"Creative and cultural institutions are at the heart of our communities. The Cultural Investment Fund is the Government’s biggest ever single investment in cultural infrastructure, local museums and neighbourhood libraries and will benefit communities across the country. This will help drive growth, rejuvenate high streets and attract tourists to our world-class cultural attractions."

The CIF will provide funding for a wide range of projects, including:

• Extending the Cultural Development Fund for another 5 years with over £90m of funding, which will enable more than 20 places across the country to transform their local cultural and creative industry infrastructure.

• Kickstarting the transformation of the National Railway Museum, including new gallery and exhibition spaces, improved accessibility and the restoration of heritage buildings. The museum will become the cultural hub of York Central - the redevelopment of the largest city centre brownfield site in Europe -  projected to include 6,500 high-value jobs, and up to 2,500 new homes.

• Major infrastructure and maintenance work at local and regional museums across the country, safeguarding precious collections and local landmarks and increasing opportunities for commercial and community use. This will help realise one of the key recommendations of the Mendoza review about how the government can better support the sustainability of the sector in England.

• Upgrading buildings and technology so public libraries across England are better placed to respond to the changing ways people are using them.

• Additional support for UK City of Culture 2021 to transform Coventry, unlocking £37m of additional funding and over £107m of tourism impacts.

The £250 million investment will be delivered by DCMS, with Arts Council England (ACE) having a key role in distributing the fund.  Both the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England will also play important roles, particularly in the delivery of the museums maintenance fund. 

ACE has significant expertise in assessing capital projects and evaluating funding applications. It will run open competitions to ensure that investment goes to the best projects and benefits across the country.

Arts Council England Chair Nick Serota said: 

"This additional and very significant investment is exciting news for culture and for communities across the country. We are grateful to the Secretary of State and to the government for responding so positively, following conversations over the past few months. We know that towns and villages up and down England will benefit from investment in local libraries and museums, and in new jobs in our growing creative industries. We’ll work closely with Government to develop the detail of the programme in the coming days and weeks."

Tim Davie, Industry co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council said:

"Our creative industries are world renowned and vital to future economic growth. This extra funding is excellent news. It will extend the successful work developing vibrant creative industry hubs across England, a central theme of the Creative Industries Sector Deal agreed between the Creative Industries Council and Government last year."

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: 

"Coventry City of Culture is a golden opportunity for the West Midlands and a brilliant stage on which to showcase our great pool of cultural and digital talent.

"Not only will residents get to enjoy and take part in the wide range of events, shows, and activities throughout the year, but City of Culture will also create both job and volunteering opportunities for local people.

"The Government has played an important role in helping to make this happen, and I am delighted that they have provided further funding to help City of Culture be the best it can possibly be."

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive Coventry City of Culture Trust said:

"We are delighted to receive the news about the funding for Coventry City of Culture Trust. This new investment will ensure that we are able to deliver the most extraordinary year of events in 2021, welcoming more than 2.5 million extra visitors and laying the foundations for a meaningful legacy for one of the UK’s most youthful and diverse cities and region."

Sir Ian Blatchford, Chairman of the National Museum Directors’ Council and Director of the Science Museum Group, said:

"This fund will make a huge difference to regional museums that are doing superb work and is a welcome recognition of the importance of investment in our cultural heritage. At a time when the eyes of the world are turned to Britain, it is encouraging to see further funding for culture, following the recent positive spending round."

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum, said:

"This is wonderful news for the National Railway Museum - and for the City of York. This £18.6m investment by the Government is an extremely significant milestone in realising our £55m Vision 2025 campaign to turn our museum into a truly world-class attraction. It is the springboard for unlocking our role as the cultural heartbeat of York Central - one of the most ambitious regeneration projects in Europe."