The Horniman Museum was awarded £90,000. Image (c) Sophia Spring

Thirty-five museums and galleries awarded DCMS Wolfson grants

Jessica Browne-Swinburne, 16.01.2019
Tullie House and Horniman Museum among those to benefit from £4m fund
The Horniman Museum’s musical instrument collection is among the beneficiaries of the latest round of funding from the DCMS Wolfson fund, receiving a grant of £90,000 to undergo a transformative development.

The grant will support the south London museum’s Music in the Making project, which also won funding recently from the Museums Association’s Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund. The project will commission classical, grime and R&B artists to create and perform works inspired by the collection, diversifying the way in which audiences interact with the museum.

The DCMS Wolfson Fund, which is now in its 13th round, allocated £4m to 35 museums and galleries across England this week.

A partnership between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Wolfson Foundation, the fund provides capital funding for museums and galleries to make physical improvements to their facilities and collections, increase public access and improve the visitor experience.   

More than 80% of the funding will go to museums outside of London, including £252,000 to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, which will help to create a new fashion and costume gallery to house the institution’s 7,000-strong costume collection.

Andrew Mackay, the director of Tullie House, said: “We are delighted that DCMS Wolfson will be investing in this stunning collection of national significance. The grant will allow us to shine a light on a hidden collection whilst also revealing parts of the building’s beautiful original architecture.”  

Manchester Museum was awarded a £190,000 grant for its project, Hello Future, which will create inclusive and imaginative exhibitions on zoology, earth science and archaeology, transforming the visitor experience in the museum.  

Other recipients included the Oriental Museum in Durham, which was awarded £50,000 for its Silk Road Gallery. A grant of £70,500 went to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford to develop its photograph and sound collections, while Tate Britain in London received £70,500 for gallery improvements.  

In the south-west, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall received £96,500 to help develop infrastructure for its temporary exhibition programme, and Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum in Bournemouth was awarded £115,500 for a project entitled Reinterpreting and Reconnecting, which will conserve and redisplay the museum’s Japanese and world cultures collections.

One of the largest grants went to the Potteries Museum in Stoke-On-Trent for the restoration of the Spitfire RW388, which was donated to the city in 1972. The £210,000 award will support the Operation Spitfire project, which aims to inspire a new generation of engineers through the restoration and preservation of the world war two aircraft.  

Paul Ramsbottom, the chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “One of the great treasures of this country is the sheer quality and range of our heritage collections.

“This funding will help to provide even better visitor experiences and greater awareness of these fascinating collections.”

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