Shell’s sponsorship prompted protests at the National GalleryCORBIS/GETTY IMAGES

Another oil company has pulled out of a sponsorship deal with a British cultural institution after years of protests.

Shell’s withdrawal from a deal with the National Gallery follows that of BP from Tate and other organisations.

Shell said that its decision to end the 12-year agreement, thought to have been worth about £500,000 over that period, would allow it to focus on work to “inspire the next generation of engineers” through science, technology, engineering and mathematics programmes.

Campaigners who have carried out stunts at cultural institutions receiving energy company money welcomed the withdrawal.

Clara Paillard, of the Public and Commercial Services Union, told The Guardian: “Fossil fuel companies have got no place in our public museums and should become personae non gratae, like tobacco…