Derby Museums Trust has been invited to apply for £2.58 million from the Arts Council’s large capital funding programme. It is one of only 16 organisations across England to have been invited to apply to the second stage of the programme.

If successful, the money will support the transformation of Derby Silk Mill into a new Museum of Making.

This creative and inspirational space will be rooted in Derby’s industrial heritage and kitted out for the 21st Century. The transformation will see the Silk Mill fitted with the technology and tools needed to build people’s skills and creative talent.

Following its success at stage one of the programme, the Trust will receive an £85,000 investment to support the development of its plans. If successful at stage two, the Trust will secure the additional £2.58 million to support the project.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Midlands, Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted to be investing in Derby Museums’ fantastic plans for its Museum of Making. This new museum will be a place where arts and culture meld with science and technology. Building on Derby’s rich industrial legacy we hope the museum will be a place which inspires the creators and makers of the future.”

The news follows Derby Museum’s success in securing a £9.38 million investment for the project in 2015 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Tony Butler, Executive Director, Derby Museums said: “We are thrilled that Arts Council England is helping us take our pioneering project to the next stage. We are intent on making the Arts fundamental in understanding of the STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Maths). We want to turn STEM to STEAM.”

The Arts Council’s large capital grants support organisations to improve existing buildings, making them more economically and environmentally sustainable and giving arts and cultural organisations the right buildings and equipment needed to support the delivery of their work.

The successful stage one applicants will now be invited to complete a stage two application within the next 18 months, showing plans at a detailed stage of design and development.

This will allow the Arts Council to assess the projects against criteria including long-term sustainability and resilience, the potential for partnership funding, and whether the organisation is able to manage and deliver the work proposed.

Funding of £57 million will be awarded if the organisations are successful at the second stage of the application process.

A list of all the successful stage one applicants across the country can be found here.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “This programme is about backing a wide range of really exciting proposals to allow our arts and cultural organisations to thrive, for the benefit of artists and audiences across the country. We look forward to seeing the second stages of these applications so that we can help to get these projects off the ground, to help enhance the arts and cultural infrastructure around the country.”

The next round of the large capital grants funding programme will open in 2016/2017, with a budget of £43 million available for the benefit of arts and cultural organisations.

The Arts Council also recognises the need to invest in smaller scale capital work; the successful applicants to the Arts Council’s next round of small capital grants will be announced in early February. One further application round of small grants will also take place later in 2016.

Derby Silk Mill – Museum of Making Derby Museums has secured a first round pass for major grant funding of £9.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £4m Derby City Council of a £16.4m development to create Derby Silk Mill – Museum of Making. The project will open up the whole of the Silk Mill, creating beautiful spaces to inspire our visitors and will provide access to 100% of Derby Museums’ collections of Making and Social History.  The new museum will have our communities at its heart and be uniquely co-produced with the people of Derby over the coming years.

Take a look at the project blog here.