£50,000 funding boost for Plymouth-led arts initiative

A groundbreaking scheme led by our arts and heritage service has received a £50,000 funding grant from Arts Council England (ACE) today.

New Expressions involves 15 museums and heritage sites across the South West, Midlands and North of England, all of whom are working with artists to produce new work inspired by their historic collections. The scheme, which is now in its third iteration, is already supported by a national ACE Grants for the Arts Award of £150,000.

Thanks to today’s funding award, lead partner Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery will now be working with the rest of the New Expressions consortium on the development of a subject specialist network (SSN) that will help bring museums, artists and communities together.

The aim of an SSN is to develop mechanisms for cultivating and sharing curatorial expertise and support. The £50,000 award is one of just seven of its kind named in today’s national Museum Resilience Fund announcement, and part of a new investment of over £17 million in English museums by Arts Council England.

The funding will last for a year, during which time New Expressions will develop a proposal, business model and five-year plan for a sustainable SSN, as well as undertake additional evaluation and documentation work.

Councillor Peter Smith, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council said: “The funding award and the City Museum and Art Gallery’s lead role in the national New Expressions programme are a testament to Plymouth’s commitment to culture and the arts.

“Over the seven years since it was launched New Expressions has delivered a series of highly successful projects and expanded from local to regional to national partnerships involving a range of artists, museums, audiences and communities.

“Today’s funding boost will build on the momentum already achieved by a programme that we are extremely proud to support and take a lead role in.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “We are delighted to be supporting museums through our Museum Resilience Fund. By investing in the development of their ambitions we will be helping to secure a stronger future for the organisations and improving experiences for visitors.”