Light and Inspiration Project

RWA building

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

Capital Project

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 now complete.

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

Despite, rigorous project management, the ‘ping-demic’ plus delays to the supply of essential building materials forced us to extend the project timeframe and added to project costs.

Our re-opening, originally scheduled for January 2022, took place in May 2022. During this time costs increased, from £3.8m to £4.5m.

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 make sure that we can continue to make art accessible for everyone.

Activity Project

As part of our Light and Inspiration project in 2021 and 2022, in consultation with our local communities and shaped by their needs, we will be delivering activities with many new groups, enriching and lighting up lives with art.

Communities we will be working with include:-

  • Intergenerational families from areas of multiple deprivation
  • Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including Roma young people
  • Adults and older people experiencing mental health challenges, learning disabilities, dementia and social isolation
  • People with visual and hearing impairments
  • Neurodiverse children and adults
  • Non-traditional gallery audiences from the widest range of communities and backgrounds across Bristol
  • Local schools and HE and FE students

Did you know?

The RWA has been financially self-supporting since it was founded in 1844. Today, just 1% of running costs come from public subsidy (an Openness grant from Bristol City Council).

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.  

    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.

    Click here to donate

    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.




    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

    Corporate Sponsorship

    Sponsors receive marketing benefits including exposure to our audiences and hospitality in our stunning galleries