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Regional Culture and Heritage Fund launched

Ministers’ release: 5 May 2016

A multi-million dollar fund to support regional cultural centres has been launched and opened for applications today by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry.

The Regional Culture and Heritage Fund will be worth an average of $6.67 million a year.

A replacement and renaming of the former Regional Museums Policy, the RCHF is funded at the same level, but broadens its scope to include potential support for performing arts venues such as theatres and opera houses, heritage buildings with display collections and whare taonga.

“This is great news for our regional cultural institutions, which are a vital part of many communities and have an important role in regional development,” Ms Barry says.

“The RCHF is a much more flexible and comprehensive fund, able to support a wide range of important regional institutions which may be struggling to get the capital required for much-needed projects.”

“Some parts of the country, like the West Coast, have never received funding from the RMP and may now be able to after these changes.”

The fund will ensure regions are supported to showcase their heritage, offer new cultural experiences and drive economic development.

A previous requirement for collections to be of national significance to qualify for funding has also been removed.

“This means the fund will now consider collections of regional and local importance, making it more accessible to smaller museums and art galleries which would not have qualified under the previous criteria.”

The RCHF remains a fund of last resort, and applicants will have to show they have already secured funding from local government and philanthropic contributions on the “a third, a third, a third” principle.

Annual applications will go through a rigorous assessment process under the new criteria.

The first round opens today, with a closing date of July 1. The first successful applicants will be announced in August.

More information on the criteria and application process can be found at

Updated on 5th May 2016