Cultural venues including museums, galleries and public libraries are being encouraged to submit expressions of interest to receive a share of £128m.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announced the Cultural Investment Fund yesterday and said it was ‘to help improve accessibility to the arts and safeguard their futures.’
The fund is divided into three streams. The £49.4m Cultural Development Fund aims to give people access to arts and culture in areas with historically low levels of cultural engagement to help support economic growth.
The £15.5m Libraries Improvement Fund will help libraries upgrade their buildings and improve digital infrastructure, and the £63.3m Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND) helps fund urgent museum maintenance and infrastructure works.
Arts minister Lord Parkinson said: ‘Cultural institutions form the heart of communities across the country and it is important that we provide them with the support they need.
‘This funding will help make culture more accessible to everyone, including people who may not have enjoyed its benefits before, as well as supporting vital maintenance work to secure the future of many venues. It is an important part of our plan to level up the country, for the benefit of everybody.’
Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, commented: ‘Artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries have the power to animate and energise villages, towns and cities in amazing and innovative ways.
‘This new investment in culture and creativity will help people across the country to enjoy happier lives.’