Government pledges £250m for cultural regeneration

The government has pledged £250m of new funding for the culture and creative sector.

Half of the money will be spent on major infrastructure and maintenance work at museums across the country, safeguarding precious collections and local landmarks and increasing opportunities for commercial and community use.

Over £90m will also be used to extend the Cultural Development Fund which uses investment in heritage, culture and creativity to drive regeneration and growth.

£18.5m of this money has been allocated to York’s National Railway Museum to improve accessibility and restore its heritage buildings. The museum will become the cultural hub of York Central – the regeneration of the largest city-centre brownfield site in Europe – which could see up to 2,500 new homes in the city centre.

The project is a collaborative partnership between Homes England, Network Rail, the City of York Council and the National Railway Museum and has been in the pipeline for several years.

It’s already received approval for its outline planning application on the site, which sits to the west of the city’s railway station between the A19 and A59 road corridors.

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: ‘Creative and cultural institutions are at the heart of our communities. The Cultural Investment Fund is the government’s biggest ever single investment in cultural infrastructure, local museums and neighbourhood libraries and will benefit communities across the country.

‘This will help drive growth, rejuvenate high streets and attract tourists to our world-class cultural attractions.’

£7m will be given to Coventry for their UK City of Culture programme, This investment from central government brings the total grant funding for the city centre ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture to £55m.

The third UK City of Culture will be held in Coventry in 2021, with Chelmsford, Luton, Northampton, Southampton and Tees Valley all expressing interest in bidding for the 2025 award.

Hull was the previous UK City of Culture in 2017 with the city’s university claiming it brought £228m of investment to the city.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: ‘Coventry City of Culture is a golden opportunity for the West Midlands and a brilliant stage on which to showcase our great pool of cultural and digital talent.

‘Not only will residents get to enjoy and take part in the wide range of events, shows, and activities throughout the year, but City of Culture will also create both job and volunteering opportunities for local people.’

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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