The Courtauld launched the fundraising campaign for the biggest programme of development in its history last night. Courtauld Connects is an ambitious five-year capital project and programmatic initiative that will transform our home at Somerset House and enable wider audiences to engage with our scholarship and collections through national and international tours and outreach activities. The launch was held at the National Gallery where the ‘Courtauld Impressions: From Manet to Cézanne’ exhibition is currently on display while The Courtauld Gallery is closed for redevelopment. The transformation of our physical space will ensure that we have the best learning and teaching facilities for our students, academics and staff and will provide dynamic spaces to exhibit our collection. Over three million images from our photographic collections will be digitised and made available online through a new volunteering programme. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £9.4million towards the cost of the first phase of the project to make The Courtauld’s galleries more accessible, create a new learning centre, improve care of our collections and extend outreach programmes. At the packed launch event, there were speeches from HLF Chair, Sir Peter Luff and Courtauld Chair, the Lord Browne of Madingley who thanked National Lottery players for their support for the Courtauld Connects project and for their support of the arts more generally. Guests included actor Bill Nighy who is pictured with Lord Browne.