Art Fund To Help Cash Strapped UK Museums

The Art Fund announced today plans to increase its funding for museums and galleries for exhibitions and purchases. The increase will be by over 50% by 2014. This is in response to the severe financial pressures facing most art institutions in the UK. The fund is committing £7 million a year to their funding programme – up from £4.5 million. They are also launching the National Art Pass, giving special access to art all over the UK.

The plan is to develop different funding programme to deliver art to all corners of the UK in innovative ways, and to help people experience great art at first hand.

This is the commitment

Making more money directly available to help museums buy important works of art – the Art Fund has given over £24m over the last five years to 248 museums
Running more public fundraising campaigns for art at risk of being lost to UK collections – such as the recent £6m Brueghel and Staffordshire Hoard campaigns
Sharing art around the UK through support of tours, exhibitions, projects and events – continued support throughout 2012 for ARTIST ROOMS on Tour announced today
Supporting curatorial development – beginning with a new partnership with the National Gallery to nurture curatorial talent in regional museums
Supporting the collecting of international contemporary art – through the £5m Art Fund International scheme
Celebrating, advocating and supporting the museums and galleries sector – through the Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries
Campaigning for ways to make it easier for museums to acquire art – for example through tax reforms to encourage lifetime giving
Helping people make the most of art – through the introduction of the National Art Pass and a national guide to art
National Art Pass
The National Art Pass, gives free entry to over 200 charging museums and galleries and 50% off entry to major exhibitions. Every person who owns a National Art Pass will be directly supporting art in museums and galleries across the country as proceeds feed directly into the Art Fund’s funding programme.

The National Art Pass comes hand in hand with Art Fund membership, which includes entry to special events, lectures, visits and private views, as well as Art Quarterly magazine. The National Art Pass is available from just £35 a year and can be bought at or by calling 0844 415 4100. A special National Art Pass for Under-26s is also available from today from just £18.75.

Funding partnerships

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “I applaud the bold commitment of the Art Fund at a time when so many funding bodies are reducing their support for museums. If our museums are to thrive, we must continue to grow and develop our collections.”
The Art Fund is delighted to confirm that the Wolfson Foundation has pledged £1.5 million over three years for the acquisitions funding programme. The Foundation has demonstrated huge commitment to the work of the Art Fund over the last three decades. The Art Fund also plans to extend its work with a number of other donors, trusts and foundations.

Stephen Deuchar
, Art Fund director, said: “We must ensure that museums remain able to collect, display and interpret great works of art, for a wide public, whatever the financial pressures of the moment. Supported by the National Art Pass, we are determined to help this happen.”