Museum partnership secures major grant award from Arts Council England Resilience Fund
A heritage sustainability project entitled ‘No Borders’, which is being led by Epping Forest District Council’s Museum, Heritage and Culture Service has been awarded £279,000 by Arts Council England, following a competitive bid to Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund.
The award, which is part of Arts Council England’s strategic funding programme, has been designed to support museums to become more sustainable and resilient to the pressures many are currently facing. Nationally some 94 museums and organisations were awarded funding totalling £12.2 million.
The ‘No Borders’ project is a ground breaking local authority museums partnership, which includes Epping Forest Museum, Heritage and Culture Service, the Lowewood Museum in Broxbourne and Chelmsford City’s Museum Service, which are all popular museum services with free entry for the public.
Developing sustainable services
The aim of the project is to support all three local authority areas to develop sustainable, inspiring services for the future, drawing upon recommendations and ideas produced for Epping Forest District Museum, as part of an earlier piece of resilience work funded by Arts Council England.
Good news for residents
The funding is good news for local residents of all ages as family activities are a key area of work and this project will enable the museums to develop new approaches to support funding for exhibitions, development projects and day to day activities, by bringing in professionals with expertise in fundraising and commercial operations including retail, catering, event services and venue hire, to undertake a number of transformational improvements across all these areas of work.
New charitable foundations
It is also planned for the museums to establish new, charitable Development Foundations to undertake fundraising in support of their work the museums, with the aim of bringing in funding not normally available to local authority museums and this will be established and guided by an experienced fundraiser.
A third strand of the project will be to undertake projects with groups and individuals who don’t currently access the museums’ services , to build audiences and encourage people of all ages and abilities to get involved with the museum, as visitors, supporters, volunteers and future curators.
In the Epping Forest District, the ‘No Borders’ project will build on the recent expansion and refurbishment of Epping Forest District Museum, which has recently reopened following a major Heritage Lottery Fund Award of £1.65m, which has enabled the museum to be fully accessible.
Museum, Heritage and Culture Manager, Tony O’Connor said: ‘’We are delighted to have secured this funding for this work at this exciting time in the museum services development. We are grateful for the support of Arts Council England in providing the opportunity to undertake this transformational project, which will improve the opportunities for residents and visitors to Epping Forest, Broxbourne and Chelmsford museums to engage in the rich heritage and cultural offer we all share.”
Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council’s Leisure and Community Services said: ”Achieving this funding will allow us to build on the exciting developments which have taken place at the Epping Forest District Museum and will ensure that our museum, heritage and culture service can continue to contribute to the health, wellbeing and economic development of the district in a sustainable way.”
She added: ”Ensuring the museum is sustainable and resilient in the long term will ensure the newly developed building continues to contribute to Waltham Abbey town, business and communities.’’
The ‘No Borders’ project will take place between October 2016 and March 2018