A tranche of government funding has been handed out to galleries, museums, libraries and other cultural venues across the country, including a number in London.

The funds, from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and dispersed by the Arts Council will, in the government’s announcement, “improve people’s access to the arts, safeguard cultural assets for future generations, and power economic growth through culture.”

A total of £42 million was handed out to 63 organisations, of which £2.5 million is going to six London venues.

Libraries Improvement Fund

The Libraries Improvement Fund is helping to transform library services in England by helping them upgrade their buildings and digital infrastructure so they can respond to the changing ways people use them.

Harlesden Library Hub & Front Room £285,000
Beckton Library £230,336
Artizan Street Library & Community Centre £226,575

Museums Estate and Development Fund

The Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND) helps fund museum and local authority infrastructure projects and urgent maintenance works beyond their day-to-day budgets.

Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret £157,230
London Transport Museum £277,093
Bruce Castle £588,900

At the Old Operating Theatre, the funds will go towards replacing the pyramid skylight in the roof that provided light into the operating theatre for the physicians to see what they were doing. Operations were often performed around lunchtime to maximise the amount of daylight available.

When the Museum opened in 1962, an unsympathetic metal-framed pyramid skylight window was introduced. This is now completely outdated, with cracks in its glass and thick foliage growing above. Following the award of the new grant, the Museum will introduce a visually-sympathetic steel and aluminium hipped roof lantern skylight in the Georgian style.

Haringey Council will be able to fund the restoration of the north London landmark Bruce Castle. The Grade 1 listed building is home to the borough’s museum and archive and the funding will help address structural issues within the historic building.

London Transport Museum will use its grant to fund upgrades including improvements to its lifts to increase public access to the venue.

The full list of grants is here.


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