DCMS/Wolfson: £4 million grants announced for English Museums and Galleries

DCMS/Wolfson: £4 million grants announced for English Museums and Galleries

January 2017

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, and Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, have today announced grants totalling £4 million to improve displays and facilities at museums and galleries across England.

The grants, jointly funded through a partnership between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Wolfson Foundation, will be used for renovation and improvement projects in 39 museums and galleries.

It will allow institutions across the country to increase access, improve displays and enhance public spaces.

Matt Hancock, Minister for Digital and Culture, said:

“Our museums and galleries are among the best in the world and we should be rightly proud of these institutions.

"We want people to be able to enjoy world-leading culture wherever they live and whatever their background. These grants will make an important contribution toward increasing access to their wonderful collections and improving the visitor experience at museums right across the country.

“I applaud the Wolfson Foundation’s generosity in once again matching the Government’s investment pound for pound in this important work.”

Paul Ramsbottom, CEO of the Wolfson Foundation, said:

"This is a wonderful example of how a charity and government can work fruitfully together in partnership and we are grateful to government for matching our funding. The awards demonstrate the richness and variety of the country’s museum collections. From Egyptian mummies in Leicester to a Roman fort on Tyneside, this is a gloriously diverse set of projects - but all demonstrate excellence and all will improve the visitor experience.

“In announcing these awards I also want to pay tribute to Giles Waterfield. He was a brilliant advisor to the programme from its inception and sparkled at an expert panel meeting in the very week in which he tragically and unexpectedly died. We all owe him a great deal.”

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, and Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, announced the awards at the London Transport Museum, which received an award of £75,000 for its Young Engineers Gallery

Successful grants include:

The Weald and Downland Museum in Chichester will receive £224,500 towards an exciting project to reconstruct two significant but currently dismantled historic buildings dedicated to the production of food. The project will develop the museum’s educational programme and the accessibility of its collections.

The Bolton Library and Museum Service will receive £200,000 towards its First Impressions project which will transform the visitor experience in the 1939 Grade II Listed building by creating a new welcoming and engaging space in which their collections can be viewed.

Leicester Arts and Museum Service will receive £145,000 to refurbish its Ancient Egyptian Gallery. The refurbished space in the upstairs gallery will house its Ancient Egyptian collection, one of the most significant in the country, and help increase family and school visitors.

National Football Museum in Manchester will receive £102,156 to extend its main galleries and create two new exhibition spaces. The fund will allow the museum to put the Chris Unger HIstory of Women’s Football Collection and its expanded football toys and games collection on public display for the first time.

The partnership between DCMS and Wolfson has now committed £44 million and funded 382 projects throughout England since the Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund was created in 2001.

An interactive map and full list of the awards is shown below. *The five marked awards have been made in memory of longstanding expert panel member, Giles Waterfield. 


Museum / Gallery



Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford

Ashmole’s Museum: the story of the founding of Britain’s first public museum

£ 110,000

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery


£ 75,000

Black Country Living Museum

Revitalising the Racecourse Colliery

£ 128,490

Bolton Library & Museums Service

First Impressions

£ 200,000

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust

Investing in Library Improvements and Museum, Library and Archive Integration to reveal hidden treasures

£ 100,000

Compton Verney House Trust*

Redisplay of Compton Verney’s important collection of British Folk Art

£ 36,000

Derby Museums

Your place in the world

£ 125,000

Durham University Castle Museum

Tunstall Gallery Redisplay Project

£ 67,000

Horniman Museums and Gardens

Collections People Stories: Redisplay of the Horniman’s Anthropology Collection

£ 75,000

Leicester Arts & Museums Service

Leicester Ancient Egypt Gallery

£ 145,000

London Transport Museum

Young Engineers Gallery

£ 75,000

Museum of London

GET BUSY at the Museum of London Docklands

£ 40,000

National Football Museum

Expansion of Permanent Galleries

£ 102,156

National Motor Museum

Luxury Motoring and Lalique Mascots

£ 50,000

National Museums Liverpool*

The Seas Gallery

£ 200,000

National Portrait Gallery

Improvements to First Floor of NPG and creation of exhibition space

£ 100,000

Natural History Museum

Hintze Hall: western wonder bays

£ 100,000

Nottingham City Museums and Galleries

Accessible Exhibition at Newstead Abbey

£ 75,000

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Out of the Deep

£ 89,355

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery

Rediscovering World Cultures: Improving RAMM’s Ethnographic Galleries

£ 190,000

Royal Armouries

Way Finder Project

£ 125,000

Royal Cornwall Museum

Shining a light on the heritage of Cornwall

£ 50,000

Royal Museums Greenwich

Sea Things Gallery – part of the Endeavour Project

£ 125,000

Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum*

Art Galleries Skylight Project

£ 132,453

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Equal Access for All: “Upon this warrant you shall have access” – Two Gentlemen of Verona

£ 24,000

ss Great Britain

Fitting the Dockyard Museum for a Designated Collection

£ 61,000

St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery

The Future for St Barbe Project

£ 84,000

Tate St Ives

The new Tate St Ives

£ 125,000

Telegraph Museum Porthcurno

Back to the Future – From Britain’s Secret World Wartime Communications to How We Talk Globally Today

£ 130,000

The National Tramway Museum

National Tramway Museum Large Exhibit Gallery Improvement Scheme

£ 100,000

The Wallace Collection

Back State Room Lighting Refurbishment

£ 27,900

Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums

Arbeia Roman Fort Phase 1 Redevelopment Project

£ 150,000

University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology

Refreshing Archaeology & Anthropology: Display and Access

£ 90,000

Victoria & Albert Museum*

Cast Courts Phase Two – Renovation of the West Court and Central Gallery

£ 200,000

Victoria Art Gallery, Bath*

Discovering Works of Art on Paper

£ 31,500

Weald and Downland Museum

Newdigate Bakery and Eastwick Park Dairy: Showcasing Heritage Food Production

£ 224,500

The Wilson ‐ Art Gallery and Museum

Opening Doors

£ 121,600

Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Wolverhampton Art Gallery Capital Redevelopment Scheme

£ 65,000

York Museums Trust


£ 50,000