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Cornwall Museums Partnership

Heritage 2033: opportunities for Cornish museums in NLHF’s new 10-year strategy

At the start of March, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) launched its new 10-year strategy: Heritage 2033. Addressing the need for long-term, place-based investments, the strategy outlines a new approach designed to make accessing funding easier and more impactful for heritage across the UK. This streamlined approach is a great opportunity for museums in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly to capitalise upon and realise their ambitions. You can read the strategy in depth here; Heritage Fund ten year strategy

Four new investment principles will shape the Fund’s decision-making.

  1. Saving heritage
  2. Protecting the environment
  3. Organisational sustainability
  4. Inclusion, access and participation

The way our sector works in Cornwall is primed to take advantage of these priorities; the Cornwall Museums Strategy prioritises diversifying income, smart use of tech, great experiences, diverse and skilled people, sharing knowledge, and celebrating the value of museums.

The new strategy has a focus on the whole place rather than individual locations; our natural collaborative and networked approach in Cornwall is perfect for responding to this. In Cornwall, heritage, culture, and landscape overlap and mingle to create the unique Cornish identity, museums’ embracing the outdoors and engaging with their ability to communicate about the climate crisis – as so many in Cornwall already do – will be on the front foot. A continued emphasis on inclusion is not surprising but helps remind museums and heritage organisations of the importance of centering equitable practice in their organisational strategies and programming.

NLHF will be releasing further detailed Delivery Plans later this year, with the first expected over the summer. With Heritage 2033 in mind, museums in Cornwall might want to start reflecting on how they deliver the strategy, and how it could help them realise their ambitions.

  • How might you reach new audiences and make your collection more accessible to more people?
  • How do you work with your local parish/town council? Is there a way to strengthen this and be more visible in town planning and influence your place’s planning?
  • How could the local community help you tell more of the stories from your collection?
  • How does your collection help tell the story of the natural world?
  • Which organisations have you collaborated with successfully? What made them work and how might you grow this partnership to achieve your ambitions?
  • How does your museum function in your community? Are you more than a museum? How do you help your community respond to opportunities and navigate crises?
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