The transformation of the award-winning Royal Cornwall Museum, including exhibition spaces and a new programme of activities and workshops, is one of the latest projects to receive support from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Programme.
Truro’s museum and art gallery has received £2.1m from the Good Growth Programme which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, which aims to help level up communities across the UK.
The funding will enable the transformation of the Heart of Cornwall exhibition, the main gallery of the museum. It will also fund improvements to the nature gallery and the museum entrance and garden, which will improve accessibility.
A programme of activity building skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths will also be delivered thanks to the funding, including school workshops, careers events, family activities and exhibitions.
Funding from the Good Growth Programme is the latest in a series of successful funding bids by the museum designed to secure its future by transforming how its collection are presented, safeguarding the building and home to the 200-year-old institution in the heart of Truro, and ultimately broadening its appeal to residents and visitors.
Cornwall Council previously provided £100,000 of transitional funding while the museum put together a longer-term funding solution. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided £250,000, and Arts Council England awarded £1.5 million through the Museum Estate and Development Fund, which is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to address the infrastructure and urgent maintenance needs of the museum sector.
In July last year the museum was awarded £460,000 from the Truro Town Deal to refurbish its renowned Mineral Gallery. This investment will develop a more interactive experience relating to the internationally recognised collection that demonstrates Cornwall’s history as a global mining centre.
Cllr Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, says: “Royal Cornwall Museum tells an incredibly important story, engaging our communities, visitors and young people in Cornwall’s history and heritage.
“The museum houses an extraordinary collection of artefacts and this Good Growth investment will allow the museum to appeal to an even wider audience and further enhance its role as a cornerstone and custodian of Cornwall’s cultural offering.”
Cllr Carol Mould, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for neighbourhoods says: “Royal Cornwall Museum has come a long way in the last 18 months as it implements its transformation plan with the support and encouragement of the Council.
“It has secured funding from a range of partners and with this latest investment by the Good Growth programme we look forward to seeing the exciting changes it has planned.”
Phil Gibby, Area Director, Arts Council England, South West: “We welcome Cornwall Council’s commitment to invest Shared Prosperity Funding into the arts and cultural sector. This funding is the latest in several significant investments that will help creativity flourish in the county.”
Bryony Robins, artistic director of the museum says: “This funding will have a positive impact on so many people, enabling us to continue our transformation, and improve the experience for our visitors and allowing us to become more accessible to more people.
“The main hall and Heart of Cornwall Gallery will see improvements to how we share the story of Cornish heritage and culture, and the Nature Gallery which is extremely popular with families and an essential story to be told in the face of climate change will also be transformed.”
Jonathan Morton, executive director of the museum says: “We’re delighted with this support from Cornwall Council and the Good Growth Programme and the impact we know it will have on our local people and communities.
“It will allow us to continue to progress with our physical transformation and the exciting work we’re doing to bring more people into the museum.”
The Good Growth programme consists of £132m from the Government’s £2.6 billion Shared Prosperity Fund, which aims to help level up communities across the UK, and £5.6m from the Rural Prosperity Fund.