Shrewsbury Museum is celebrating a major award from the Arts Council which bosses have welcomed as a major boost to its programmes and activities
Ambitious new projects at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery including a planned partnership with the British Museum have been given a huge boost, thanks to an award of more than £500,000 to the Shropshire museums service from Arts Council England.
The proposal, which includes plans to improve museums and attractions for children and young people across Shropshire, was granted £567,000. It also includes a countywide consultation project for smaller museums and co-curated and family friendly touring exhibitions.
The award also acknowledged plans to build on community engagement as part of the flagship British Museums partnership project at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. The museum's service will receive £188,999 each year for the next three years, giving it exciting scope to develop its offers for children and young people. We might watch this space!
The British Museum Partnership Gallery, set to open in 2024, will focus on redeveloping Shrewsbury Museum’s Bronze Age displays to present a dedicated and dynamic narrative of local life from the Ice Age to the Romans. It will display long-term loans from the British Museum, and more of Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery’s collection through a redistribution of gallery space.
The funding comes from the National Portfolio programme. Rob Gittins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said: "The funding from the Arts Council’s National Portfolio scheme will be shared over three years, and allows us to further develop our ambitions to improve and enhance the museum service in Shropshire.
“Last year we were delighted to announce that Shrewsbury Museum & Gallery would be working in partnership with the British Museum to create the UK’s first pre-Roman British Museum Partnership Gallery, and this is exactly the sort of collaboration and partnership working we would like to explore.
“Our innovative approach and keenness to offer children and young people access to cultural programmes and events has been recognised and rewarded. Our team has excelled, and we are looking forward to seeing our programme grow.”
Fay Bailey, Shropshire Council’s museums and archive manager, added: "We are absolutely delighted to become a National Portfolio organisation, and wish to extend our thanks to Arts Council England for their support.
“This much needed funding package will help us to develop our partnership with the British Museum, to extend our inclusive volunteering package across Shropshire Council’s cultural venues, and to continue to develop our high-quality programme of co-curated family-friendly exhibitions and events.”
Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England, said: "We’re delighted to be investing in Shropshire Museums and Archives over the next three years. We look forward to seeing our funding help rural communities come together to discover and explore the past.”