Arts Council England/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund: About the Fund

Tudor coin hoard from Lindisfarne

Tudor coin hoard from Lindisfarne, 16th century.  Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle upon Tyne

The ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund is managed by the V&A as part of its national work. The grants budget, which is £750,000 for 2015/16, is provided by Arts Council England.

The Fund supports the purchase of a wide range material for the permanent collections of non-nationally funded organisations in England and Wales.  

Demand is always very strong and funds are allocated to enable as many acquisitions as possible to be made. Each year the Fund considers about 150 applications and enables acquisitions of nearly £3 million to go ahead.

The Fund, run by the V&A since 1881, retains an interest in the organisations and objects it supports and collections they join and ensures that the terms of grant offer continue to be met.

The Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle upon Tyne bought this Tudor coin hoard, which was found, amazingly, in the same house in Lindisfarne as an earlier hoard acquired by the Society in 1962. It contains coins which reflect the mid-16th century English currency in the aftermath of the Great Debasement including some rare Continental coins, not usually found in the UK. As the Island was used largely as a garrison in the Tudor period, with the priory given over as a supply base, the original owner of the hoard was possibly a military officer who had seen service on the Continent.

Portrait of Allardyce Nicoll by Dame Laura Knignt

Portrait of Allardyce Nicoll by Dame Laura Knignt, 1939.  Museums Worcestershire

The hoard is now on display at the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle.

Other recently successful acquisitions include an album of photographs by Keith Vaughan bought by the School of Art Collections at Aberystwyth University; the Hulton family and estate archive bought by Lancashire Archives; Valley Farm a watercolour by David Jones, 1929 acquired by Buckinghamshire County Museum, Aylesbury.

Nearly a third of all applications considered are for items to be sold at auction. Museums Worcester bought this portrait of Professor Allardyce Nicoll by Dame Laura Knight at a local auction in 2014. Nicoll, who lived near Malvern, was a friend of the artist. When World War II broke out, Knight made her studio at Nicoll’s house, later writing “I think that then I did some the best work I ever did”.


Grants given

Download: Grants given in 2014-15 (PDF file  120 KB)

Download: Grants given in 2013-14 (PDF file,  91 KB)

Download: Grants given in 2012-13 (PDF file, 61.9 KB)

Download: Grants given in 2011-12 (PDF file, 70 KB)

Download: Grants given in 2010-11 (PDF file, 74.9 KB)

All enquiries and requests for forms should be directed to the V&A's National section:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2536
E-mail: purchasegrantfund@vam.ac.uk

Find out how to apply for a grant

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