The £2.4m ACE funds are being made available to museums in the second round of the Ready to Borrow: Small Scale Capital Development scheme, which aims to help museums across England develop their capacity and readiness for borrowing objects from national and Major Partner Museums.

Funding for the scheme will be distributed by each of the nine Museum Development providers  as small grants to museums to enable them to upgrade exhibition spaces and host loans from National Museums or Major Partner Museums, allowing more people the opportunity to see, learn from and enjoy the objects.

The first round of the scheme in 2015 led to more than 60 museums in England benefitting from the fund. Organisations interested in applying should contact their local Museum Development provider.

Arts Council England is also awarding Designated status to Chesterholm Museum’s Vindolanda collection and Torquay Museum’s Quaternary Cave Collection and Archive, both of which offer extraordinary coverage and insight into their subjects.

Chesterholm Museum’s unique Vindolanda collection is central to our understanding of life at the frontier fort of Vindolanda but, more generally, of life on the northern frontier of Roman Britain, and of the Roman army internationally.

The Quaternary Cave Collection and Archive at Torquay Museum provides a unique window on the prehistory of the South West region and the wider area. The collection covers the origin of early man in Britain, and also includes tools, animal remains and a broad archive.

“The Panel is delighted to welcome these two important collections into the scheme,” said Stella Butler, Chair of the Designation Panel. “They tell wonderful and unique stories which have national and international resonance. The collections are also hugely important resources for their areas of study.”

Recruiting new Designation Panel members

The Designation Scheme identifies collections of national significance and quality throughout England and ACE is currently looking to recruit five new members to the designation panel. The Panel is made up of respected members in the fields of arts, cultural heritage and historical research, which meets twice a year to consider applications for Designated status. The closing date for applications is 6 June at 5pm, more information can be found here.

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The collection at the Vindolanda site, just south of Hadrian’s Wall in the north east of England, has been awarded Designated Status by ACE