Big Rise in Funding as Museums and Galleries Get [Pounds Sterling]190m
Byline: LOUISE JURY
LONDON museums and galleries will share in a pot of more than[pounds sterling]190million for capital improvements over the next three years.
The allocation from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, announcedtoday, is a 147 per cent cash rise over the last spending round.
The pot includes a [pounds sterling]50 million grant made yesterday for a planned extension ofTate Modern.
Even without that, a total of [pounds sterling]141.3 million over three years represents an 82per cent increase on the last period.
Around [pounds sterling]108 million will help maintain the buildings and collections atnational museums and galleries, including the National Museums Liverpool, theMuseum of Science in Manchester and the British Museum and National Gallery inLondon.
Many of them are listed buildings and suffering increased wear and tear from ahuge rise in visitors.
Since the free admissions policy was fully introduced in December 2001, thecapital'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 tosupport London's cultural bastions.
A host of eminent figures, including Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley,
Sir Paul Smith, Dame Vivienne Westwood Alexander McQueen, Zaha Hadid, MelvynBragg, Ozwald Boateng and Sir James Dyson, issued a direct appeal to theGovernment not to cut funding to the arts in a letter to the Evening Standardin September.
Some of the cash will go towards new ventures, including [pounds sterling]5.7 million for thenext phase of the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum and [pounds sterling]10 milliontowards new conservation facilities and exhibition space at the British Museum. …