Autumn 2021 budget: £ 850 million for museum, heritage and gallery restoration



England’s cultural sector is set to receive £ 850 million for the restoration and upgrading of sites such as the Tate, V&A, the Imperial War Museum and the British Museum, the Treasury Department announced.

The Treasury Department has already pledged to raise a total of nearly $ 26 billion by tomorrow’s budget and spending review.

Prior to the announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce the three-year investment to redevelop and renovate sites, although a full breakdown of recipients – including regional museums – has not yet been released.

The museums already to be funded include the V&A in London, the Tate Liverpool and the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, each of which will receive a £ 300 million share for “the maintenance of exogenous bodies”.

A total of £ 125 million will be allocated to build the Natural History Museum’s new scientific research center in Oxfordshire, due to open in 2026. The sum is the largest single sum that is made available to a museum within the framework of the funds already announced.

The news comes as the museum reveals that online access to the museum’s 80 million digitized objects could yield more than £ 2 billion in economic benefits across all sectors, according to economic analysis.

The new center will house 27 million copies, more than a third of the museum’s total collection, with an emphasis on digitizing copies.

A fully digitized natural history museum could generate “ten times” the return on investment

Refurbishment of the British Library’s Boston Spa

The Treasury Department has announced that the British Library will receive £ 77 million to renovate its Boston Spa site.

It is still unclear whether the funding is “new money”; In March 2020, the government announced an investment of up to £ 95 million to upgrade the library’s Boston Spa location near Leeds, with the intention of expanding storage capacity. The renovation plans are currently in the technical planning phase.

According to a report by The Guardian of the announced commitments, not all are entirely new issues or include money used to replace previous commitments.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said, “We saw a weekend of state treasury smoke and mirrors in front of the budget – with a government that would rather re-announce plans than get the job done.”

Blythe House collections

An additional £ 14 million will be allocated to continue moving museum collection items out of Blythe House, which currently stores museum collection items for the V&A, Science Museum and the British Museum.

The new depot of the Science Museum Group is to open in 2024, in which some of the collection items will be housed.

Sustainability on a scale: a new era begins for the collections of the Science Museum Group

110 regional museums will receive £ 75 million

Ahead of tomorrow’s announcement, the Treasury Department also announced that over £ 75 million will be split among 110 regional museums and libraries.

Here, too, the Ministry of Finance has declared that the funds will be used to improve buildings and “level” digital facilities.

The National Railway Museum in York is the only location that has already been announced as a recipient of funds to receive an undisclosed amount to support its redevelopment.

The museum’s expansion plans continued this week with a public consultation on its proposed Central Hall building beginning this week.

Plans for the major expansion of the “Central Hall” of the National Railway Museum are progressing

High Street Heritage Action Zone receives £ 42 million

The Treasury Department has also announced that the High Streets Heritage Action Zone program will receive £ 42 million.

A total of 67 High Streets are expected to benefit from the program, which is being run in partnership with Historic England.

Through local authorities, the capital is to transform unused, run-down buildings into new apartments, shops, workplaces and community centers, and to carry out repair work in historic buildings.

The program also funds events to encourage locals to learn more about their area’s heritage and has already hosted six self-guided audio walks through the UK’s High Streets through Historic England.

Historic England uses immersive sounds to guide the exploration of British high street history



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