Museums come top of Lottery Fund agenda

Museums have emerged as clear winners from the latest grants of Lottery cash made by the Heritage Lottery Fund. – A total of 23 museum and archive projects are to receive 137m from the fund, it was announced last week.

Museums have emerged as clear winners from the latest grants of Lottery cash made by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A total of 23 museum and archive projects are to receive 137m from the fund, it was announced last week.

The projects are spread across the UK, with three Manchester museums between them getting 35m. This leaves little scope for a repeat of allegations that too much Lottery cash is spent in London.

The largest individual grant outside London, of 15m to Manchester City Art Gallery, will enable its two buildings to be linked together for the first time, using an extension designed by Michael Hopkins & Partners. The gallery plans to introduce a new corporate identity to coincide with the opening of the extension, scheduled for 2000. An invitation-only pitch is the most probable selection method for further design work, likely to be carried out in conjunction with Michael Hopkins and in-house design staff, says a spokeswoman.

Further grants include 13.8m to the British Film Institute to develop its archive and 1.8m to the Courtauld Institute for the second phase of its refurbishment. The institute has appointed architect Purcell Miller Tritton & Partners to work on the refurbishment programme. Nearly 12m has been granted to the National Portrait Gallery for its centenary celebrations. The Tate Gallery’s successful application has been rewarded with an 18.75m grant, enabling it to relaunch its original Millbank site as the Tate Gallery of British Art in 2001.

The National Waterways Museum’s Project 2000 has been granted 1.14m, and more than 6m has been granted to the National Galleries of Scotland to develop the Dean Centre in Edinburgh.

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