The Hepworth Wakefield won the £100,000 Art Fund Museums of the Year award last year. On top of money given for that and £10,000 given to each of the finalist museums, Art Fund spent a record £5.5m on art for organisations around the country.

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The publication of the 2017-18 annual report reflected more aid to museums and galleries than ever before in its 115-year history. Grants were given to purchase 200 works of art and objects for organisations, most of which (85%) were outside of London.

“The UK has seen dramatic changes in recent years, but that has not dimmed the dynamism or determination of our museums and galleries,” said Lord Smith of Finsbury, the Art Fund chairman. He emphasised that the fund seeks to address the “evolving needs” of the organisations it benefits.

“We are taking bold steps to increase our grant giving to £10m,” he added.   

Also last year, Art Fund launched the £750,000 Weston Loan Programme, which enables smaller and local authority museums to borrow objects from national collections, and the number of National Art Pass holders rose to 139,000.