BP believes that access to arts and culture helps to build a more inspired and creative society, it gives us a sense of who we are and where we’ve come from
Why does BP support the arts?
Supporting the arts
BP is one of the most significant corporate investors in UK arts and culture with a history that extends over five decades, half the lifespan of the company. We have been headquartered in the UK for over 100 years and we aim to play our part in UK society through our long term support for arts & culture.
Support for the arts is part of the company’s wider contribution to society which also includes initiatives to develop talent in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and build community capacity in areas such as leadership and business skills.
BP’s arts programme aims to provide access to excellence in the arts to audiences and communities across the UK and beyond, enabling experiences that bring about a healthier, smarter, more cohesive and happier society, making a difference to people's lives. Our long term commitments ensure that new performances, special events, exhibitions, awards, grants, lectures, and access to works of art can continue to reach an ever-growing audience, bringing art into the public domain in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible without BP’s investments.
Our strategy continues to focus on support for the major institutions with which we’ve had long-standing relationships: the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, Tate Britain and the Royal Shakespeare Company. In addition, we have supported the Mariinsky UK tour since 2003 and will do so again in 2017. We are also a major corporate partner with Hull 2017, UK City of Culture – an exciting year-long cultural celebration featuring an impressive range of diverse, high profile events and projects in which BP is playing an important part. Our overall investment in all these institutions and events is one of the most significant and enduring in UK arts and culture.
In support of our strategy, we recently announced a further five year investment of £7.5 million from 2018 for a range of projects at the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Since 1990, BP's investment has enabled over 50 million people to engage with BP activities, with more than 2 million in 2015 alone. We can now be sure that many more people will have access to the best of the UK's culture well in to the future.
The battle over Britain’s biggest corporate sponsor
Read the recent Times interview with head of BP UK, Peter Mather, where he discusses the company's long standing art sponsorship amidst the mounting pressures from environmentalists
The BP Archive
Since 1967 the BP Archive has been formally retaining records relating to the History of the Company. The collection consists of over 10 linear kilometres of paper records, photographs, artefacts, film and audio visual items. These, by the nature of the Company’s operations, include information on the cultural, social and economic histories of the countries in which we have and continue to operate around the world. These records are not only used by the Company to support its primary business activities, but also to enhance its reputation by making the material available to cultural and historical institutions in those countries. For over 20 years, the archive has also been made accessible to academic researchers and representatives of cultural institutions at its location on the campus of the University of Warwick.