Region to gain nearly £4m from Cultural Investment Fund

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay

The Millennium Gallery in Sheffield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Wakefield Libraries are among 13 organisations set to receive a share of almost £4m awarded to Yorkshire and Humber.

The money from the Government’s Cultural Investment Fund will support important upgrades at museums and public libraries which will ensure they can continue to be assets to their communities.

The Millennium Gallery in Sheffield will receive almost £600,000 to help maintain environmental stability in the galleries, reduce environmental impact and control costs.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park has been awarded more than £250,000 to restore and repair its 200-year-old, Grade II-listed Cut Bridge.

The bridge forms a key route across the park, as well as comprising an integral part of the 18th and 19th century design and development of the estate.

Wakefield Libraries will receive nearly £450,000 towards creation of a children’s library where books, storytelling and digital enablement will sit alongside museum objects and interactive role play.

All regions of England have received funding, which comes through the Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND) and the Libraries Improvement Fund – two parts of the Cultural Investment Fund.

Arts and Heritage Minister, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, said: “There is so much incredible culture and heritage on offer across Yorkshire.

“This Government funding awarded to these museums and libraries will help to support restoration projects, make environmental improvements to save on their bills, and help to create a new children’s library so these organisations can continue to be valuable assets to the community as well as boost the local economy.”

Kim Streets, chief executive of Sheffield Museums, said: “The gallery is a showcase for the region’s fantastic home-grown creative talent and brings the very best in national and international art and design to the city.

“The units, which manage environmental conditions in the gallery and help us safeguard the collections on display, have reached end of life and are in urgent need of replacement.

“This funding will see the installation of new, state of the art units which will enable us to better control conditions in the gallery spaces and improve energy efficiency, reducing both energy costs and our environmental impact.”

Mark Lynam, Wakefield Council’s corporate director for regeneration, environment and economic growth, said: “We have ambitious plans to deliver a transformational experience for children and families through a joint libraries and museums children’s space in the new building.

“Equal opportunities and access are at the heart of the design concepts for this space. It will cater for those with sensory and physical disabilities as well as providing activities which appeal to a variety of genders and ages.”

Mark Chesman, head of estates and projects at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, added: “The Cut bridge is a critical part of the estate’s infrastructure. Repairs to the deck and ironwork will ensure continued access to art, nature and our heritage.

“It’s only with the support from capital grants such as the MEND fund, and additional partnership funding from Historic Houses Foundation, that these essential works can be progressed.”