The culture sector in England will receive an extra £850million in funding from the Treasury in the new Budget, which is set to be fully announced this week by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
A statement from the UK Treasury read: “The country’s most cherished museums and galleries will benefit from a £850m post-pandemic funding boost to breathe life back into our world-renowned cultural and heritage hotspots, the Chancellor is expected to announce (on 27 October)”.
Museums including the V&A in London, Tate Liverpool and the Imperial War Museum in Duxford will each get a share of £300m for “arm’s-length body estate maintenance”, the Treasury claims.
The planned three-year investment will help museums, galleries and cultural haunts redevelop and refurbish their sites, the statement appends. The funding is supplementary to the regular annual grant-in-aid subsidies for the 15 national museums that are sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
An extra £125m will be afforded to the Natural History Museum’s new scientific research centre in Oxfordshire. More than £14m will be used “to continue to move museum collection items from Blythe House (in West London) and into modern storage”.
The Treasury has also confirmed that more than £75m will be spent helping regional museums, such as the York Railway Museum, and libraries to help them improve their buildings and digital facilities as part of the boost.
The news comes as a welcome surprise after hundreds of libraries have shut down over the past decade. According to one survey, since austerity was implemented in 2010, 773 have closed for good.
Back in March, Sunak announced that more than £300m would be added to the £1.75bn Culture Recovery Fund, while national museums will receive £90m in emergency funding to help keep their doors open.