Museums secure Wolfson Foundation grants - Museums Association

Museums secure Wolfson Foundation grants

Funding supports a wide range of redevelopments, including new galleries and interpretation
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Simon Stephens
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Strathnaver Museum on the north coast of Scotland
Strathnaver Museum on the north coast of Scotland Marc Farr

The redevelopment of a community-run museum in Caithness on the north coast of Scotland is among the projects that have benefited in the latest round of funding from the Wolfson Foundation.

Strathnaver Museum has been awarded £75,000 towards a scheme that includes refurbishing the existing museum, creating exhibition and workshop space, installing accessible interpretation across the site, and delivering community research projects. The organisation had already raised more than £2m.

“Strathnaver Museum is at an exciting crossroads, where our vision for a refurbished facility offers the opportunity for the museum to secure the future of our important historic building and reimagine its place in the community by expanding the services we can offer,” said Tom Mackay, the chair of the museum.

The capital funding package includes support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Museum Galleries Scotland.

Also in Scotland, Dundee Heritage Trust has been awarded £300,000 for new galleries at Discovery Point Museum. The venue is focused on RRS Discovery, the Dundee-built ship that took explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica in 1901.

Mammoth Gallery, Ipswich Museum Ipswich Borough Council

Other projects to receive Wolfson Foundation funding include plans to create a mammoth gallery at Ipswich Museum. This is part of a wider £8.7m scheme to redevelop the Suffolk venue. The revamp will add gallery and education space, a new cafe and improved shop and toilets, as well as reinterpreting Ipswich Museum’s collections, including its extensive world cultures collection.

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The Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library in Preston received £200,000 for its redevelopment. The £10.7m “Reimagining the Harris” project also has support from the Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, among others.

Exeter Cathedral secured £400,000 from the Wolfson Foundation for a restoration project and the creation of a treasures gallery.

Derry City and Strabane District Council received £150,000 to support plans for a new maritime museum and archive centre. Also in Northern Ireland, Queen's University Belfast has been given £475,000 towards a new home for the Seamus Heaney Centre.

The National Gallery, London, has received £1m for a gallery refurbishment, while the Salisbury Museum has been awarded £100,000 for a refurbishment and interpretation project.

The Wolfson Foundation has given the National Railway Museum £400,000 to redevelop the Locomotion museum in Shildon, County Durham.

Paul Ramsbottom, the chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: "Museums and galleries are at the centre of our cultural life. As well as preserving historic collections that illuminate the past in fascinating ways, they sit at the heart of their communities: places of connection and of learning, and places that enhance wellbeing. We are delighted to support institutions in every part of the UK, awarding nearly £30m to museums and galleries in the last decade alone."

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