Royal Cornwall Museum (RCM) has received £100,000 in transitional funding from Cornwall Council to review its business plans and find new strategic partners after missing out on a bid for council funding earlier this year.
The council is providing initial support to enable the museum to “commence its longer-term transformation and reinvention plan”.
The museum had warned it was at imminent risk of closure after its application to the council’s new Cultural and Creative Investment Programme was turned down earlier this year. The investment programme replaced the previous revenue grants scheme and losing the bid meant the abrupt withdrawal of the museum’s in-year council funding.
RCM has been working with the strategic partners in the Cornwall Culture Investment Board and with Cornwall Museums Partnership to explore solutions that keep the museum’s collections open to the public.
Carol Mould, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, said: “This is a unique situation. The partners in the Cornwall Culture Investment Board are keen to ensure that the public are able to continue to enjoy the collections at the RCM, which tell key parts of Cornwall’s story. Our transitional support will enable the museum to commence its longer-term transformation and reinvention plan.
“The museum was formed more than 200 years ago by the Royal Institution of Cornwall to promote excellence in our science, art and culture and our world leading industries. Because of the unique nature of the organisation, the council is keen to find different ways to develop the long-standing relationship between the council, RCM and other partners to ensure that we can look forward and be successful together.
“We all want to see the RCM live up to its full potential as a high-quality cultural destination. The first step will be for the museum to carry out a thorough review of their business and development plan so that it can attract funding from other agencies.”
Jonathan Morton, executive director of the RCM, said: “We are extremely grateful that Cornwall Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and Historic England have recognised the positive trajectory of RCM’s long-term plans for a sustainable future. This initial support will help us transition into our longer term plans.
“We would also like to say how grateful we are to everyone who has supported the museum and its importance to Cornwall over the last few years and in the last few months.
“The offer of this transitional support puts us in a really positive position to continue our work and to build a longer-term funding solution, one that will still require a huge amount of effort and will mean we continue to need the support of everyone in Cornwall.”