A new era of philanthropy could be about to begin in Sheffield - and it’s never been more needed, a meeting of business leaders heard.
Gordon Bridge, chairman of Museums Sheffield, said he believed the city was poised to become a major global player thanks to emerging powerhouses - harking back to a time when Firth, Jessop and Graves were leaving their mark.
And he urged bosses to continue that tradition by supporting his cash-strapped organisation - on the basis a healthy cultural scene was good for the city and good for business.
Speaking at the launch of the Museums Supporters’ Club at the Millennium Gallery, he said it had been forced to deal with savage cuts and massive inequality.
The Arts Council spent £20 per head in London compared to £3.60 in the regions while the Department for Culture Media and Sport spent £45 per head in London and just £1 per head elswhere.
The former AESSEAL chairman added: “Sheffield was one of the most powerful cities in the world and from that came some wonderful philanthropy.
“I think our international clout is returning. There are some real powerhouses emerging and a new era of philanthropy could return.”
Museums Sheffield runs the Millennium Gallery, Weston Park Museum and the Graves Gallery.
Kim Streets, chief executive of Museums Sheffield, said: “Club is a new opportunity for Sheffield’s businesses to directly support the city’s museums and galleries. Having a strong cultural offer is good for business in the city, so there is a natural fit and we look forward to working even more closely with Sheffield’s business community in the years to come”
Gripple boss Hugh Facey told the meeting he rented a painting for £1,000-a-year.
He joked: “That was 14 years ago - it would have been cheaper to buy it. But it’s fantastic. You can have a magnificent painting in your boardroom, office or home and put money into Museums Sheffield.”
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