Hefty £754,000 funding boost for Bristol Museum announced - how the money will be spent

Boost will fund a catalogue of ‘vital’ improvements

A funding boost of more than £700,000 has been pinned down for vital improvements at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, securing the future of the historic venue.

Bristol City Council announced today (Thursday, March 17) that the museum, which was established all the way back in 1823, is among around 60 cultural hubs to receive a slice of £48million from the Government’s Cultural Investment Fund.

The Queen’s Road venue will benefit from a £679,365 boost from the Museums Estate and Development Fund, delivered by Arts Council England.

This will be match funded by £75,485 from Bristol Museums Development Trust, the independent charity that raises money for Bristol Museums and Archives, after unanimous approval from the charity’s board of trustees.

It comes after fears for the future of the historic venue were raised when Bristol City Council revealed a £436,000 cut for the city’s museums and archives service in its 2022/23 budget– more than 10 per cent of its usual annual funding.

The money will fund a refurbishment of the roof above the Natural History office as well as the installation of a new boiler in the museum basement.

The windows in the conservation department will be weatherproofed, while some of the museum’s electrical systems will be replaced.

Bristol Museum & Gallery is set to benefit from a £700,000 funding boost.

Councillor Craig Cheney, deputy mayor of Bristol with responsibility for Culture, said: “It is wonderful news that Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has been successful in its bid to the Cultural Investment Fund.

“This essential remedial work will keep the building open so it can continue to engage visitors in world-class exhibitions and events, while preserving the building’s listed status.

“Most importantly, the money will enable the museum to safeguard our internationally significant collection for future generations.

“I would especially like to thank Bristol Museums Development Trust for their continued support and advocacy.

“By protecting the fabric and longevity of the building, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery can continue to act as a community and civic focal point for the city.”

Nigel Hardy, chair of Bristol Museums Development Trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this successful application and provide the 10 per cent match funding.

“Bristol Museums Development Trust raises funds to support the museums for the benefit of the public and we are grateful for the generous support we receive from our wonderful visitors and donors. Each and every donation we receive is valuable as it enables projects like this to happen. We are thrilled to help preserve this magnificent building.”