Colchester + Ipswich Museums to receive £1,194,048 grant from Arts Council England

PUBLISHED: 4 November 2022

Date issued: 4 November 2022

A grant of £1,194,048 over three years (2023 – 2026) has been made to Colchester + Ipswich Museums Service (CIMS) which will bring more major exhibitions and support the work that CIMS undertake with children and young people in the community.

The grant from Arts Council England comes as the combined museums service has maintained its coveted National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status and has been awarded a higher band, recognising the hard work and achievements it has made over the previous four years. This higher band and increased grant will see CIMS receive nearly £200,000 more every year from 2023 to 2026.

Arts Council England supports arts and culture by funding NPOs to help them to deliver the strategic goals outlined in their bids.

Competition for the fund was extremely fierce for this round given the current economic climate. CIMS were up against bids from other museums, libraries and arts organisations across the country all applying for the same pot.

The maintenance of NPO status and the increased funding boost that comes with it will directly benefit the thousands of visitors to the six venues it manages - Colchester Castle, the Natural History Museum, Hollytrees Museum, Ipswich Museum, Christchurch Mansion and Ipswich Art Gallery.

Both Colchester and Ipswich Borough councils were delighted as the news of the award was announced.

The grant funding will support a major exhibition every year in both Ipswich and Colchester, fund focused activity and events and help improve our learning programmes and digital outputs. Thanks to Arts Council support we anticipate growing and continuing to diversify our audiences both physically coming to our museums and online.

Councillor Pam Cox, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Heritage at Colchester Borough Council said: “We are delighted to maintain and indeed increase our National Portfolio Status and to receive this record funding for the next three years. It will enable us to continue to provide our outstanding services and attract more visitors who can enjoy the many nationally important objects and treasures we hold across the joint service.

“Working with our local communities, we will continue to ensure our collections are preserved and are fully accessible to our audiences.

“Today’s announcement is testament to the hard work undertaken during the last few years of Arts Council funding. This is a huge vote of confidence which will harness expertise and bring exciting exhibitions and experiences for our visitors.”

Councillor Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Planning and Museums, added: “This is wonderful news for the Museums service in Ipswich and Colchester. The Arts Council has awarded us an increased sum for the next three years, which will make a real difference in supporting the work we do preserving our collections and working with communities.

“We received this funding increase because of the fantastic work our museum staff do. Many museums will have applied, so I want to express my thanks and gratitude to everyone in the Colchester and Ipswich Museums service for this success.”

Arts Council England Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “As well as continuing our commitment to our many established and renowned cultural organisations, I am deeply proud of the support we will be giving to those new organisations which will help ignite creativity across the country.  We are facing economic pressures at present, but this funding is about an investment in our future. This portfolio will support the next generation of visionary inventors, makers, performers and artists. In particular, the growth of our funding for organisations that support and develop work for children represents a profoundly important long-term investment in our country’s talent.” 

Arts Council England Chief Executive, Darren Henley, said: “Together, each of the 990 organisations that have been offered funding today will contribute to a portfolio that is rich, varied and truly national. This is our widest ever spread of investment across the country, ensuring that many more people will have access to a wider choice of exceptional art, culture and creative opportunities on their doorsteps. We are in tough times but we must remember creativity brings with it extraordinary dividends, boosting our country’s economic growth, creating jobs, bringing communities closer together, and making us happier as individuals. Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits it brings, and with this investment, we believe we’ve taken a decisive step towards making that vision a reality.”

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said: "Thanks to this new government funding package, spreading more money to more communities than ever before, people living in areas from Wolverhampton to Wigan and Crawley to Chesterfield will now get to benefit from the deep economic and social rewards culture can bring.
"We continue to support our icons such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Shakespeare Company, but today's announcement will see organisations in places all too often overlooked get the support they need to transform access to the arts for everyone - no matter where they live."

Page last reviewed: 4 November 2022


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