Oxford University museums to receive £640k from Culture Recovery Funds

Image description: an image of the inside of the Pitt Rivers Museum 

The University has received a grant of £639,999 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to support the reopening and recovery of the Ashmolean Museum, the History of Science Museum, the Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum. All of the museums are currently closed, in line with government guidance in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is part of more than £300 million which has been awarded to organisations in the latest round of support announced by the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the British Film Institute. Whilst the initial round of awards were announced when the pandemic forced many cultural institutions to close their doors, this second round is intended to support their reopening.

In total, £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations since last year. The Arts Council England, awarding funds raised by the National Lottery, today awarded £261 million to 2,272 struggling venues, theatres, museums, and cultural organisations

Xa Sturgis, the Director of the Ashmolean Museum, commented: “On behalf of all Oxford University’s museums, we are extremely grateful to the Government and to Arts Council England for their support. The grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund will make a significant difference to our work. It will allow us to invest in areas that are important for our audiences and communities and to develop our commercial capacity as we emerge from the pandemic. The last year has been challenging for so many cultural institutions but these funds will help us to move forward with optimism.”

The grant will be used by the university’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) to support the reopening of the four museums later in the spring, and will allow the museums to develop commercial activities to help strengthen their financial resilience. It will also be used to grow their digital capacity and infrastructure to meet the changing needs of audiences.  

Image credit: University of Oxford