Cornwall museums to receive a multi-million pound boost

It has been announced this morning that the Cornwall Museums Partnership has been awarded £2.44 million by Arts Council England and is now included in its National Portfolio.

The government and Lottery funded arts body, Arts Council England, this morning announced which bodies across the country would receive National Portfolio funding for 2018-2022. The Cornwall Museums Partnership (CMP) was delighted to discover that it will be one of the organisations to receive a share of the £9.4 million funding designated to Cornwall.

The £2.44 million will enable the Cornwall Museums Partnership to deliver a wide-ranging programme of activity across seven museums from Porthcurno to Bodmin which has been designed to bring their internationally significant collections to life for the enjoyment of everyone in Cornwall. This will include new exhibitions, a trainee Curator programme, more opportunities for children and young people and a transformation of the information available online about Cornwall’s heritage.

To deliver this ambitious programme, CMP will be working with Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, Penlee House in Penzance, Helston Museum, Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro, Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall Regimental Museum in Bodmin and Wheal Martyn in St Austell.

Cornwall Museum’s Partnership’s CEO, Emmie Kell, said: “We are thrilled with the announcement and Arts Council England’s recognition of the importance of our collaborative approach. This is an exciting and significant moment for museums in Cornwall.”

Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, Chairman of the CMP Board, said: “Cornwall’s museums are a unique shared resource that generate civic pride and a sense of identity in the communities which they actively serve. They care for diverse collections which connect many generations as the objects they hold have both personal and universal significance. Through their programmes and collection displays, museums wield the power to create a sense of wonder: inform, move and inspire. We are delighted that Arts Council England is supporting our plans to share these collections with many more people for the benefit of communities across Cornwall.”


Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “We are very pleased not only to be renewing our investment in Cornwall Museums Partnership, but also to be increasing our funding for additional activity. The museums’ consortium model is nationally recognised and their skills in widening audiences and engaging people across the county and beyond are exemplary. This additional investment will allow the partnership to bring in new partners in Bodmin and Helston, meaning more people across Cornwall will have access to exciting arts and culture in their communities.”

Other arts organisations in Cornwall who will receive the funding include The Hall for Cornwall Trust, Miracle Theatre, Kneehigh Theatre, Creative Kernow Ltd, Leach Pottery and Newlyn Art Gallery.

The consortium comprises Cornwall’s Regimental Museum, Wheal Martyn, Helston Museum, Penlee House, Falmouth Art Gallery, Royal Cornwall Museum and Telegraph Museum Porthcurno.

More information about Arts Council England’s National Portfolio funding is available here.

Change Makers Study Visit: Culture & Museums in Finland and Estonia

My change makers study visits to Finland and Estonia to learn more about communities, museums, diversity and identity in small countries.

Supported by Arts Council England and Cornwall Council, the Change Makers projects is a collaboration between Dr Tehmina Goskar, Cornwall Museums Partnership and the Royal Cornwall Museum.

Watch Tehmina’s full vlog here:

Getting to Grips with Grants: A Funders Perspective

Delegates from across the South West gathered for the first session of the much-anticipated Firm Foundations Programme to learn from expert speakers and share valuable information and advice about how best to approach capital projects.

Setting the scene for the day, and in fact the programme itself, was keynote speaker Kelly Spry Phare, Development Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund in the South West.  Kelly gave an invaluable insight into how to secure HLF support, outlining the fundamental principles for developing HLF capital projects.  Although this may sound obvious, many organisations fail to consider the must haves, the must do’s and the what if’s. Some of the main topics Kelly discussed in her talk were:

Setting the scene

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £7.6 billion to over 40,000 projects since 1994, and will continue to award £300m a year in new grants through to 2019, however the pot is shrinking in real terms and as a result competition is increasing.

What are your outcomes?

HLF is looking for projects that focus on heritage, people and communities, and are actively engaging with people.

Accessing the right grant

A range of HLF grants are available, from £3,000 up to £5 million.  Most relevant for capital projects are Our Heritage; Resilient Heritage, Heritage Grants and Heritage Enterprise: each has a different application process with different timescales attached.  Regardless of which programme you choose, you must focus on the outcomes of the project – for people, heritage and communities.

What is assessed on making an application?

Before you even begin writing your application, think honestly about the following:

  • What is the heritage focus of the project?
  • What is the need or opportunity that the project is responding to?
  • Why does the project need to go ahead now and why is Lottery funding required?
  • What outcomes will the project achieve?
  • Does the project offer value for money?
  • Is the project well planned?
  • Is the project financially realistic?
  • Will the project outcomes be sustained?

Your answers will inform – and strengthen- your application.


How long will it take?

The application process itself will take longer than you think, and its important that you plan for this.  By looking at the diagram below, you can get an insight into how long a typical Heritage Grant application can take.


Partnership funding

HLF will ask you to make a contribution towards your project. This is described as ‘partnership funding’ and it can be made up of cash, volunteer time, non-cash contributions, or a combination of all of these. More information on this is available on the HLF website.

Getting help from HLF

If you are interested in HLF funding, the first step is to have a look here – ‘looking for funding’.

Then take a look at the guidance notes as this sets out what HLF fund, the outcomes HLF is looking for and advice about how to make an application – it’s really surprising how many people haven’t done this before they make an application.

If you think your project is a fit, then seek early advice from HLF.  Submit a project enquiry form and start the conversation – you don’t have to have everything fully formed!

For more information on how the Firm Foundations Project can help your capital project, please contact the Cornwall Museums Partnership Office on 01209 500750.

Citizen Curators programme launched

Last Thursday at Cornwall Museums Partnership’s annual Share and Learn day in Helston, I launched the Citizen Curators Programme and introduced its prospective pilot at Royal Cornwall Museum.

Citizen Curators is basically museum studies in the workplace and takes the place between attending one-off training and a full-on course at a university such as an MA in Museum Studies.

Citizen Curators is a work-based training programme aimed at skilling up volunteers (and also staff who want to develop new skills) in modern curatorial practice. The idea behind this programme was developed over 18 months ago in response to the increasing lack of opportunities to learn curatorial and modern museum skills while working or volunteering in a sustained manner, and have the opportunity to test and assess competencies and in a peer learning framework.

The rural context of Citizen Curators is important. People of smaller museums in large rural regions lack the most access to training, skills, networking and peer groups.

For me it’s an opportunity to experiment with delivering education to workers while they work, and also led by the needs of their work. Colleagues will know about my growing interest and involvement in museum skills development and I am grateful for this opportunity try out something new.

Apart from access to skills and an opportunity to test them out, the Citizen Curators pilot will also focus on recruiting at least 50% under-25s.

The emphasis will be on the participants’ learning goals, rather than on fancying up a regular volunteer opportunity or disguising a dreaded unpaid internship.

That said, participants will have to demonstrate commitment and a dedication to completing the course and creating an outcome that is meaningful to the museum.

It is thanks to Arts Council England support through Cornwall Museums Partnership received through through the Change Makers leadership programme that I am able to conduct this pilot.

Download the Citizen Curators Pilot summary (PDF)

Download the Citizen Curators Flier (PDF)


Dr. Tehmina Goskar, Change Maker (Arts Council England supported),
Cornwall Museums Partnership & The Royal Institution of Cornwall

Bright Sparks – the next round of joint grant funding for artists and museums is now open!

Cornwall Museums Partnership and FEAST are challenging museums and artists to work together to generate original ideas for bringing more and different people into the museums of Cornwall to enjoy Cornwall’s unique heritage.  For the second year we are offering a joint small grants fund to enable the best ideas to be tested and delivered.

We are looking for genuine innovation and collaboration between artist(s) and museum, and for ideas which would appeal to a broad range of the community.  We are inviting proposals for creative projects which spark interest in what museums have to offer: we want more people interested in their local history and more people doing or experiencing something creative.  We are offering a number of small grants of up to £2,500.  The project must involve some form of tangible activity or event with which the community can get involved.

Applications must be made jointly by artist(s) and museum.  Ideas must be generated collaboratively and plans for delivery shared by both. We imagine that some of the strongest ideas may come from an artist working with their local museum, but are not making this an absolute condition.  You choose whether it is the artist(s) or museum who is the grant recipient on behalf of the project.

The closing date for applications is September 17, 2017. For more information contact Tel: 01209500750 or Tel: 01209312502

Download an application form from the FEAST website.