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Monday, 10 February, 2003, 06:59 GMT
North west arts 'overlooked'
The Harris Museum in Preston
Preston's Harris Museum is among those to miss out
Museums and galleries in the North West have complained about missing out on a share of 70m government funding for the arts.

The bulk of the money, aimed at improving arts venues in the regions, was given to the South West, West Midlands and North East.

The North West Cultural Consortium (NWCC), made up of museums and galleries across the region, said it was "disappointed" with the government's announcement.

The news comes despite the fact arts venues in Manchester and Liverpool had three times as much money spent on them last year as similar attractions in London.

There has been tremendous investment in the region's venues and visitor numbers have increased

Felicity Goodey, North West Cultural Consortium
The NWCC said the funding would have allowed it to build on the artistic renaissance in the two cities and beyond, which has seen at least 100m spent on new venues and revamps of existing facilities.

Chairwoman Felicity Goodey said: "The North West has many internationally acclaimed collections, which are part of the nation's heritage.

"These galleries and museums are naturally disappointed that they have not been selected... at this stage.

Project 'expansion'

"In recent years, there has been tremendous capital investment in the region's venues and visitor numbers have already increased."

The funding - from the government's Renaissance in the Regions initiative - was allocated by Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries.

It aims to improve arts funding for organisations which do not normally attract government support, increase visitor numbers and school involvement.

Renaissance said it planned to expand the project to other regions of England if more funding was secured.

See also:

07 Feb 03 | England
12 Jul 02 | Review
02 Jul 02 | England
05 Feb 02 | England
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