Millions of pounds of public money have been turned over to museums and galleries to prepare for the easing of the lockdown, sparking a row with conservatives in the north who have complained the majority of the money remains in London.
A total of £ 60million will go to 20 organizations across England to help complete projects that have been blocked due to Covid-19 and ensure institutions can welcome visitors again this summer.
However, the distribution of public funds has been criticized by Conservative MPs in the north after less than half of the money – as little as £ 25million out of £ 60million – goes outward from the capital. Twelve of the 20 organizations receiving cash are based solely in the capital.
Jake Berry, President of the Northern Research of Tory MPs, said: “The North has been hit harder than any other region in the country with the gradual closure of our heritage assets.
“Therefore, it seems odd that the government is prioritizing projects in London while cultural organizations in the North are calling for help.”
London institutions benefiting from it are the British Museum (£ 9.8million), the Victoria & Albert Museum (£ 5.8million), the National Portrait Gallery (£ 3million), the Royal Museums Greenwich (£ 1.8million) and the British Film Institute (£ 1million).
Organizations outside London receiving the money include the National Museums of Liverpool (£ 3.8million), the Imperial War Museum in Duxford (£ 3.85million), the Royal Armories of Leeds (1 , £ 1million), the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield (1), the Tate Museum in Liverpool (£ 3.8million).
The Natural History Museum is splitting its £ 7.6million between its London base where £ 4.6million will be spent on its original Waterhouse wing, which houses the Human Biology Galleries and a site in Manchester.
The funding was awarded through a competitive process that took into account the impact of the pandemic on business revenue streams and other factors, the department said.