bp has been supporting the arts for over 50 years
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 and 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 investment.
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. In addition, we supported the Mariinsky UK tour and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) from 2011 until the close of 2019.
We were also a major corporate partner with Hull UK City of Culture 2017 – 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. In addition, we partnered with Tate Britain for over 26 years. Our overall investment in all these institutions and events is one of the most significant and enduring in UK arts and culture.
In 2016, in support of our strategy, we 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 RSC up to December 2019. Since 1990, bp’s investment has enabled over 50 million people to engage with bp activities, helping to ensure that many more people will have access to the best of the UK’s culture well in to the future.