The UK is to invest more than £2m ($2.7m) into improving the digital capacity of the arts and heritage sectors.
The investment was announced by Matt Hancock, secretary of state for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, as part of the ‘Culture is Digital’ report, which sets out a framework for improving the use of technology in culture and the arts to increase participation.
The report makes a number of commitments, including:
- Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund will invest more than £2m to build the digital capacity of their sectors.
- The National Gallery will create an Innovation Lab to examine how museums and cultural organisations can use immersive media, such as virtual and augmented reality, to enhance visitors’ experiences.
- The Royal Opera House will create an Audience Lab, which will work with diverse talent to create content using emerging technologies and develop cross-sector collaborations.
Arts Council England will also create and pilot the use of a Digital Maturity Index for the cultural sector, to help organisations improve their digital capability. At the same time, the Heritage Lottery Fund will work with ACE to form a Digital Culture Code – a set of guidelines and principles which cultural organisations will be encouraged to sign up to help increase their digital skills.
Hancock said: “Our cultural output has always been our unique calling card to the rest of the world and when combined with the latest digital developments there is no limit to our creativity.
“We want the UK to be the best place in the world to trial pioneering technology, while also maintaining our world leading status as a centre of artistic and cultural excellence.
“Our ‘Culture Is Digital’ report sets out how culture and technology can collaborate, learn from one another and keep innovating. By embracing new technologies and attracting more diverse audiences, we will continue to cement our status as a creative powerhouse in the digital age.”
The report was launched at the National Gallery showcasing some of the finest recent examples of digital culture, including cutting-edge immersive installations using the latest technology.