Scottish museums receive £700,000 development funding - Museums Association

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Scottish museums receive £700,000 development funding

Ness Historical Society and National Mining Museum among recipients
Rob Picheta
17 museums in Scotland have been awarded funding totalling more than £700,000 by Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) in the latest round of awards from its Museum Development Fund.

The fund, which is distributed twice a year, received an additional £200,000 of capital funding from the Scottish government to grant in this round.

The Ness Historical Society in Lewis received £80,000 for two separate projects, meaning that 18 projects received funding – three more than in the previous round in July last year.

The largest single award of £60,000 went to Paxton House in the Scottish Borders. The grant will allow the museum to create a conservation programme for its collection, improve security, and arrange an exhibition marking the 300th anniversary of Thomas Chippendale’s birth.

The National Mining Museum Scotland was also among the beneficiaries, receiving £32,600 to conserve one locomotive and relocate another from the Scottish Railway Preservation Society.

And Live Borders received £40,000 to assist with the creation of a new Jim Clark Museum. Set to open in 2019, the museum will celebrate the career of Scottish Formula One driver Clark, who won two World Championships in the 1960s. The grant will be used for the purchase of display cases and other exhibition costs.

Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, said: “Scotland has a rich cultural heritage and our many wonderful museums play a vital role in telling that story. That’s why the Scottish government has supported MGS’ Museum Development Fund with an additional £200,000 of capital funding. These projects are all great examples of the tremendous work which museums do up and down Scotland, and I’m sure they will give great pleasure to visitors.”

Joanne Orr, the chief executive of MGS, said that the additional Scottish government funding had allowed the organisation to make grants to five projects it would otherwise have been unable to support.

She added: “MGS is pleased to be strengthening the resilience and long term sustainability of the Scottish museum sector by supporting such a diverse range of projects. This was a particularly strong round of applications.”

Other recipients included Thirlestane Castle in Lauder, which re-opened in 2015 after a redevelopment. The castle will relocate its collection of historic toys thanks to a £40,000 grant.

Digital projects also benefited from funding: the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries will create two apps, while the Shetland Amenity Trust will design a new website and co-curate a new digital exhibition.

The Borders and Argyll and Bute were the two regions which benefited most from the awards, with three museums in each area receiving funding.

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