Arts Council England
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Arts Council England announces investment into future of the Arts Council Collection

We have just announced additional strategic funding for the Arts Council Collection to support an enhanced programme at Longside Sculpture Gallery and to establish three additional long-term partner venues across the country to support the existing relationship with the Southbank Centre.  

Strategic funds will be available in 2015 to develop these regional venues, as will a special acquisition fund for artists working outside the capital. 

The Arts Council Collection is the national loan collection of modern and contemporary British art. It was founded in 1946 by Kenneth Clark to inspire and enrich the nation’s appreciation and knowledge of contemporary art through touring exhibitions and loans to galleries and public buildings throughout the country. It now also reaches audiences through publications and digital programmes, with millions seeing it each year through the exhibitions programme and long term loans. The collection currently represents 2,162 artists across 7,747 artworks.

The aim of this additional funding is to create a legacy with regional partners at a time when regional museums and galleries are under considerable pressure. It is intended to enhance contemporary curatorial capacity and confidence in the regions, as well as showcase the best of the collection to attract new audiences, and enliven regional collections with relevant Collection works. 

The regional partners will be found through an open call application process where they will be asked to demonstrate their plans to create long term visible homes for the Collection, increasing the profile and awareness of the Collection with supporting digital activity and to work with the Southbank Centre to enhance the wider education and learning activities programmes. 

The Arts Council will also be continuing to work with the Southbank Centre, who have managed the Collection since 1989, to develop a programme of activity that will maximise the reach of the Collection and access to it across the country by building on the existing exhibitions and loan programmes.

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