Light and Inspiration Capital Project

RWA building

World-class art in exceptional spaces, for everyone...

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Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous supporters, an exciting project to secure the future of the RWA, transforming the experience for visitors and the communities we work with, is in progress.

Delivering a major transformational project during a global pandemic has presented significant and unprecedented challenges. Fundraising while the gallery was closed due to national lockdowns severely restricted opportunities to engage with potential funders. 

Despite this, support for the project has been widespread, with over £3.75m secured to date.  Despite, rigorous project management, the ‘ping-demic’ plus delays to the supply of essential building materials have forced us to extend the project timeframe and added to project costs.

Our re-opening, originally scheduled for January 2022, is now going to be in May 2022.  

Costs have increased, from £3.8m to £4.1m.

Despite having raised more than we initially set out to achieve, there remains a shortfall of just over £200,000 – to be raised by March 2022.

The Light and Inspiration project is exciting and it is going to make a difference to people across Bristol for generations to come. We call on all supporters of art and creativity to donate what you can to help us complete the work, transforming our already beautiful building into one of THE great galleries, accessible for everyone.

With gifts and pledges made to date from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, an Arts Council England Small Capital Grant and funding from the John James Bristol Foundation, the Linbury Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Nisbet Trust, Society of Merchant Venturers and Wolfson Foundation and others, we are well on the way to achieving our goal.

Did you know?

The RWA has been financially self-supporting since it was founded in 1844. Today, just 1.5% of running costs come from public subsidy.

The current COVID – 19 pandemic has brought in to razor sharp focus how vital the transformations planned through this project are for the financial sustainability of the RWA in the future.  The investments we make through this project will allow the RWA to generate more regular income that will be re-invested into community programmes and exhibitions.

How you can help

Please consider whether you can support the RWA with a gift towards the Light and Inspiration appeal.

  • £5 pays for pens and pencils for children to use in our Family Gallery
  • £15 pays for an adult with visual impairments or mental health challenges to enjoy a visit to the RWA
  • £50 will pay towards the cost of seating throughout the galleries
  • £250 will pay for moveable racks for storing school children's coats and bags
  • £1,500 will pay for a screen and projector for our Community Gallery for presentations to vulnerable community groups

We welcome gifts of all sizes and will be pleased to publicly acknowledge all gifts of £1,000 and above. As well as financial contributions, we welcome enquiries from people willing to support the appeal by running your own fundraising events e.g. supper parties, team challenge events or auctions of promises. Please get in touch to discuss.

Donations and tax efficient giving

As a registered charity all donations to the RWA can be tax efficient, significantly increasing the value of your gift at no extra cost to you. You can make a one-off donation below or to spread your payments over 2 tax years by annual direct debit, please contact Kate Foster, Head of Development (

Please include your contact details when asked, so we can send you a Gift Aid form which increases the value of your gift by 25% at no extra cost to you! We are very happy to respect your privacy but would really like to claim as much Gift Aid as possible.

If you pay tax at the higher or additional rate, you can reclaim tax on your donation through the self-assessment tax form. Please ask Kate for more information ( and consult a specialist for advice.  The table below gives examples.

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Or download a Donation and Pledge Form below

To find out who has supported the appeal to date please click here. 

Crowdfunder Campaign

You can also find out more about our current Crowdfunder Campaign, Light Up Lives with Art.


Join the RWA team

See our latest opportunities and be a part of this project.



The Light and Inspiration Capital Project

["The Light and Inspiration project will transform our beautiful building, attracting new audiences, including those from some of Bristol's most underrepresented communities"]

Light and Inspiration Activity

Creative activity, as part of our Light and Inspiration project, working in partnership with some of Bristol's most underrepresented communities

Make a Donation

Help enrich the lives of people from all communities and backgrounds with art

Become a Patron

Share your passion for art through a close relationship with the RWA and its Academicians

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