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Ten south west museums receive Arts Council England funding

  • Date: 28 March 2013
  • Area: South West
ss Great Britain

ss Great Britain. Credit: Martyn Poynor

Ten south west organisations are amongst the 87 across the country to receive funding through the second round of the Renaissance Strategic support fund.

Holburne Museum, Bath
Three museum organisations in Bath have developed a partnership: The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath Preservation Trust and the American Museum. These independent organisations, which operate 6 museums in total, are working together to develop both tourist and local audiences through new interpretation tools focused on families and young people, through research, improved data collection, and enhanced marketing. The partnership is backed by the local authority and Bath Tourism Plus.

Jurassic Coast Museums Partnership
The members of the Jurassic Coast Museums Partnership will work together to raise their profile and performance. The partnership of nine museums in Dorset and Devon within the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is led by Dorset County Council, Dorset County Museum, Lyme Regis Museum and Bridport Museum. The project will improve displays and interpretation, temporary exhibitions and web development as well as tapping into the worldwide audience for palaeontology through an enhanced digital presence

Museum in the Park, Stroud
The museum will redevelop its derelict walled garden and create new community partnerships.The project will establish culinary and performance areas, a meadow and an orchard within the garden. A Learning Engagement Officer will be appointed to deliver a programme of community and volunteer activities. This will lay the ground for a much bigger development phase for which substantial funding has already been secured.

Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon in partnership with the Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford
The Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon and the Burton Museum & Art Gallery will work in partnership to improve their sustainability; to work on the important North Devon ceramic collection with a view to developing national and international museum and research partnerships; and to develop and deliver a flagship learning project.

Penlee House Museum & Art Gallery, Penzance
Penlee House Museum, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth Art Gallery, Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and the Royal Cornwall Museum will work together on a number of projects including: developing digital access to collections; increasing sustainability through shared fundraising, online trading, improved membership schemes and reduced energy usage; and developing leadership.

The museums will also encourage better engagement with children and young people through outreach, online resources and teacher training opportunities.

ss Great Britain, Bristol
The project will create an education and conference facility. The redevelopment will provide a carbon neutral building and cater for significantly increased education audiences and touring exhibitions as well as generating income through the new conference facility. 

The project will also support the future plans of the ss Great Britain Trust to create space to display important Brunel material for the first time and open up Brunel's drawing office to the public.

Tank Museum, Dorset
As part of Dorset's World War I celebrations, this project will involve schools, the public and academic researchers.

A programme of teacher training will be available to every school in Dorset in partnership with Dorset County Council and Dorset County Museum. In March 2014, a major exhibition, Warhorse to Horsepower, will bring to life the nature of the WWI conflict. A partnership with Birmingham University's Centre for War Studies will aim to advance knowledge about WW1 Armour.

Torquay Museum
Torquay Museum, Brixham Museum and Torre Abbey will work in partnership to support the future sustainability of Torbay's; museums and to deliver a project which includes:

Fantastic Voyage, an interpretation and outreach programme aimed at children and young people; Geohub, a programme of learning and interpretation, including online resources based on the UNESCO English Riviera Geopark; an exhibitions and events programme; a fundraising and marketing strategy.

Trowbridge Museum
Trowbridge Museum is a community-orientated town museum with a nationally  important working collection relating to the town's key historic role in the woollen cloth industry. The project will help the museum to prepare for its ambitious plans to move into Courtfield House, a much larger, more accessible and visible premises in the town, where they will be able to develop exhibition space, artists workshops for hire and more volunteering opportunities as well as new learning and hire facilities. The funding will be used to develop the museum's business plan and research the income-generation potential of the new museum.

Gloucester Waterways Museum
A Volunteer and Learning Coordinator will be appointed to develop the museum's volunteer team. The project aims to increase visitor numbers and broaden the range of visitors as well as providing more volunteering opportunities for a wider cross-section of the community, including work experience for people with disabilities, informal learning opportunities, engagement with higher education and outreach work. 

To enable and support these activities, the project will also provide a range of resources, display and interpretation improvements, and marketing for audience development.

You can browse the national list of awards.

The Renaissance Strategic support fund supports activity that will contribute to the Arts Council's goals as set out in Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone, particularly in ensuring that museums become more sustainable, resilient and innovative, and able to attract wider audiences.

The awards are for projects commencing in April 2013, and for activity up to 31 March 2014. The Arts Council has also supported 30 awards for activity across the two years 2013/14 and 2014/15.

An open application process for the third and final round of the Strategic support fund will open in September 2013, for activity commencing in April 2014. In this round, the Arts Council will be looking for ambitious projects that build on innovation, resilience and sustainability. Up to £8.6 million will be available.

The Strategic support fund is part of Arts Council England's Renaissance programme for regional museums in England. The Renaissance programme includes: the 16 successful Major partner museums; nine museum development providers; and a suite of National programmes including Accreditation, Designation, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the PRISM fund, support for national campaigns such as Kids in Museums and Museums at Night, and Subject specialist networks. The Strategic support fund is the final part of the Renaissance programme.