ACE funding news for Plymouth’s History Centre


The good news about Plymouth’s History Centre keeps coming.

Back Row from L-R: Gareth Simmons, Programme Manager, History Centre; Judith Robinson, Arts and Cultural Development Manager, Plymouth City Council; Hilary Lade, Board Member, Plymouth Culture; Nicola Moyle, Head of Arts and Heritage, Plymouth City Council; Sarah Chapman, Director, Peninsula Arts; Stacey Anderson, Director, South West Film and Television Archive. Front Row from L-R: Paul Brookes, Programme Director, History Centre; Councillor Tudor Evans, Plymouth City Council; Councillor David Downie, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, Plymouth City Council

Project partners have just learned that Arts Council England (ACE) has given the green light to a full funding request of £4,175,000.

Councillor Ian Bowyer, Leader of Plymouth City Council said: “This is yet more brilliant news – news that will really help us to achieve our ambitions. Arts Council England’s support is really important as the History Centre is about arts and culture as well as heritage.

The ACE decision officially unlocks the £15.8 million already secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund along with £8 million from the City Council, £150,000 from Plymouth University and £128,000 from the Wolfson Foundation, paving the way for building and construction work to begin and the development of a range of exciting community engagement projects, exhibitions and artistic commissions.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: ‘This is very welcome news for Plymouth and also for the whole of the south west. 

“We have been working closely with Plymouth City Council for some time to develop these plans and the History Centre will be a flagship destination that really puts Plymouth on the map for its outstanding contemporary visual arts offer.

“We have invested substantially in the city’s arts and culture in recent years, and are really seeing the impact. Plymouth is a unique and developing city, with exciting plans for the future and culture at the heart of its ambitious plans for growth. This project has the potential to be a focal point for contemporary visual art in the south west, and give many more people the opportunity to enjoy great arts experiences.”

“As well as bringing together the historic collections from the Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, Local Studies Library, South West Image Bank and South West Film and Television Archive onto one site, the History Centre is also set to be the venue for large national and international exhibitions and a series of high profile art commissions both inside and outside. st-lukes_museum_010-reduced

Councillor Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Culture said: “The visual arts offer in Plymouth has been getting stronger and stronger and the History Centre will take this to the next level. We want to celebrate our incredible past as we look to the future. The visual arts are a brilliant vehicle for this, enabling us to create a unique visitor experience that will bring the kind of exhibitions and events to Plymouth for which people usually think they need to travel to places like London.”

David Coslett, Chair of Plymouth Culture said: “I’m delighted to hear the news of yet more successful funding for the History Centre. This is testimony to how good the development will be for the city and a demonstration of the tireless hard work from the Plymouth City Council team and significant partnership across the city. The History Centre is vitally important to developing the cultural infrastructure of the city. It will mean that by 2020, when we hold our Mayflower 400 commemorations, Plymouth will have a new cultural facility that will be a major draw for residents and tourists on a national and international scale.”

To stay up to date with the progress of the History Centre visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/loveourpast or follow @loveourpast on Facebook and Twitter.