The Art Fund has announced it will increase its funding for museums and galleries to buy and show art by over 50% by 2014 on the same day it launched the National Art Pass, which gives free entry to over 200 charging museums and galleries.
As institutions face increasing financial pressure, the news that the charity will bump its funding programme up from £4.5 million to £7 million provides a welcome fillip for the cultural sector. In the last five years, the Art Fund has given over £24 million to almost 250 museums in all corners of the UK.
As part of its plan to develop its funding programme, the charity also revealed that it will step up its public fundraising drives - like its recent £6 million Brueghel and Staffordshire Hoard campaigns - to save art that is at risk of being lost to UK collections.
Furthermore, the Art Fund has also launched the National Art Pass to help people make the most of art. The pass costs £35 a year - or £18.75 for anyone under 26 - and as well as providing free entry to numerous charging venues, offers 50 per cent off entry to major exhibitions.
Proceeds from the pass will feed directly into the Art Fund’s funding programme.
Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director, said: “We must ensure that museums remain able to collect, display and interpret great works of art, for a wide public, whatever the financial pressures of the moment. Supported by the National Art Pass, we are determined to help this happen.”
Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said: “The Art Fund has led the way in showing that philanthropy can be about small as well as large donations – and enabling many more people to access great art. I wish them every success.”
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