The fourth round of the Cultural Development Fund has opened, with a pot of £15.2m to be made available to fund a new range of projects across the country.

In the interest of ‘levelling up’, since 2019 previous Cultural Development Fund rounds have excluded projects in London.

This year’s round will be the first which does not exclude projects in the capital, a decision the government said will “[expand] the range of places that can benefit” from the investment.

The funding is hoped to allow cultural venues to “level up access to the arts”, it said.

Since its launch in 2019, a total of 20 projects have received a combined total of £76.8m from the fund in places such as Barnsley, Worcester, Plymouth, Stockport and the Isle of Wight.

Barnsley Museums was awarded £3.9m to transform Elsecar Heritage Centre into a cultural and creative industries hub. North Devon Council was awarded £3m to refurbish two Grade II-Listed Buildings in Barnstaple.

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Arts Council England delivers the fund on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “By investing in the infrastructure that cultural organisations need, we can help them make an even bigger impact on the places where they’re based, benefiting the communities they work with.”

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Main image: A design for the Elsecar Heritage Centre, a Barnsley Museums project backed in a previous Cultural Development Fund round (Concept & Visual Wignall & Moore)