LONDON museums and galleries will share in a pot of more than Pounds 190million for capital improvements over the next three years.
The allocation from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, announced today, is a 147 per cent cash rise over the last spending round.
The pot includes a Pounds 50 million grant made yesterday for a planned extension of Tate Modern.
Even without that, a total of Pounds 141.3 million over three years represents an 82 per cent increase on the last period.
Around Pounds 108 million will help maintain the buildings and collections at national museums and galleries, including the National Museums Liverpool, the Museum of Science in Manchester and the British Museum and National Gallery in London.
Many of them are listed buildings and suffering increased wear and tear from a huge rise in visitors.
Since the free admissions policy was fully introduced in December 2001, the capital's museums and galleries have seen an 87 per cent increase in visitors.
The cash injection comes as a relief to leading stars of the
British art world who feared the spending settlement would not be adequate to support London's cultural bastions.
A host of eminent figures, including Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley,
Sir Paul Smith, Dame Vivienne Westwood Alexander McQueen, Zaha Hadid, Melvyn Bragg, Ozwald Boateng and Sir James Dyson, issued a direct appeal to the Government not to cut funding to the arts in a letter to the Evening Standard in September.
Some of the cash will go towards new ventures, including Pounds 5.7 million for the next phase of the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum and Pounds 10 million towards new conservation facilities and exhibition space at the British Museum. …