The Institute of English Studies is thrilled to announce that the Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery was awarded National Portfolio Organisation status by Arts Council England on Friday 4th November. The NPO award carries three years of funding, amounting to £440,000 which will allow Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery to ‘reshape its narrative in conjunction with local audiences, asking how it can be a more inclusive and relevant space that reflects the changes in society around it whilst still respecting the heritage it holds’. The Institute’s Dr Cynthia Johnston has led an academic partnership with the museum since 2015, and she will serve on a curatorial board during the funded period. She will work with the museum in the development of a series of exhibitions to reflect the museum’s heritage and its connection with  contemporary audiences. The funding will transform the museum’s capacities with extended opening hours and the hiring of new staff members. Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery is one of four Blackburn with Darwen organisations granted NPO status including: National Festival of Making, British Textile Biennial and Culturapedia. In total these organisations will receive £2million of funding via ACE’s NPO scheme.