Triple funding boost worth £15m for museums

Youngsters take part in a cardboard invention session at Newcastle's Discovery Museum. Picture by Nigel John
Youngsters take part in a cardboard invention session at Newcastle's Discovery Museum. Picture by Nigel John

Museum bosses are celebrating a triple funding boost worth more than £15m.

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) has been successful in its applications to Arts Council England for grant funding between 2018 and 2022.

It has secured three funding agreements of £12.5million for its National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) scheme; £2million for its Bridge funding; and £627,000 for Museum Development.

NPO funding will enable TWAM to embrace creativity, risk and experimentation to develop a programme of creative work, inspired by the diversity of its venues, collections and audiences.

As part of the funding, TWAM will develop its practice in delivering:

• the Creative Case for Diversity;

• audience development including reaching larger audiences and continuing to engage those least likely to visit;

• the establishment of a new Strategic Board and Trading company which will help develop governance and increase financial resilience;

• its ongoing leadership role in the museum sector and particularly regarding work with Children and Young People;

• national partnerships and international working.

As a Bridge organisation TWAM works with Arts Council, cultural organisations and learning providers to ensure that every child and young person in the North East has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts and culture.

By 2022 Culture Bridge North East aims to have set up eight Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) across the region.

In TWAM’s role managing the Museum Development programme for the North East it supports more than 50 Accredited museums, from small volunteer-run museums through to larger independents, local authority museums, National Trust properties and English Heritage sites.

Iain Watson, director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: “I am delighted that we have been awarded NPO funding, Bridge organisation funding and Museum Development funding.

“This means we can realise our ambitious plans for developing opportunities for audiences to engage with our museums and collections.

“It also means we can support the wider museum, cultural, education and business sector to open up even more possibilities for people, and especially children, to connect with the rich variety of culture we have on offer in the North East.”

Among the museums run by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums are Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend and George Stephenson Railway Museum in North Shields.