History of Museum Development

The history of Museum Development is linked to the way in which funding for arts and heritage has changed in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland over the past couple of decades.

In 2004 the Museum Development Fund was established as part of ‘Renaissance in the regions’, a programme which sought to invest in museums in order to bring about increases in visitor numbers and stronger community engagement. This strand of public funding was delivered through the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

Once the MLA was disbanded in 2012, Museum Development was formed as a dedicated strand of funding from Arts Council England, whose remit includes museums, libraries and archives alongside other art forms.