Each year Cambridgeshire County Council awards small grants to Cambridgeshire’s Accredited museums. The funding is from the ACE Museum Development Programme for the East of England through SHARE Museums East.
In 2018-2019 grants were up to £1,000 and were allocated in November 2018 for projects to be completed by April 2019. Museums were required to demonstrate how their plans fitted with ACE’s five goals and with their own forward plans. The projects could be for any aspect of the museums’ operations but could not be used to cover core costs (e.g. staff). 12 awards were made, with total value of over £10,000. There was a preference for projects with a significant impact on the museum’s offer for families and long-term collections care.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the successful projects from 2018-2019.
Burwell Museum – Preservation of our Working Vehicles
Our small grant has been instrumental in allowing the progression of 4 key projects in the Burwell Vehicle Collection. Each of the projects had stalled due to lack of funding and had allowed the exhibits to significantly deteriorate. We replaced the battery for the Austen 7, allowing it to run again and advertise the Museum at local events like the 2019 Burwell Carnival. The 1907 Holsman gained a dressed mannequin whichprotect the vehicle by preventing visitors sitting on the seat without supervision. The Brougham Carriage has received attention to address significant condition issues. We’ve also worked to recover the Kinross Governess Cart from long term storage by repairing body damage repair, renovating the wheels and suspension and replacing shafts. Finally we’ve prepared a new exhibit of Apprentice Tools scheduled for display in May 2019.
Chatteris Museum – Securing our Building and Collections
Our 4 external CCTV cameras were installed in November 2018. These are coupled to the existing 6 internal cameras which were purchased through an earlier small grant made in 2015. Besides the internal signage we now have two external signs so the public and potential thief are aware they are being monitored and recorded. Both ourselves and the Town Council, who we share the building with, feel we are much better protected against potential break ins and opportunist theft or vandalism.
Thanks to Arts Council and CCC for your continued support to small independent museums.
Museum of Technology – Dressing the Part!
We have created three activity stations aimed at families with young children visiting the Museum. Two are on trolleys which can be moved around the site whilst the third is a static dressing-up area. The activities which we have selected provide multi-sensory interpretation which allows visitors to explore the Museum through smells, sounds and things to see and touch as well as simple STEM activities. The contents of each station are closely linked to the themes and stories of the new interpretation, which is being installed across the site. Our Education Officer, an experienced SENCO, also guided the selection of materials so we are confident that the stations are inclusive. We believe these stations will add a stimulating and fun learning experience for our young visitors when we re-open to the public.
Editor’s note. The Museum of Technology re-opened on 7 June 2019.
Stained Glass Museum – Let there be Light
The SGM bought a light table and some light play shapes to encourage families with children Under 5 to visit the museum and engage with the collection.
The light table has been extremely popular, including during the museum’s recent 40th anniversary celebrations.
The museum used the money to create a number of activity boxes which can be used with the wider community and with schools to enhance learning, reminiscence and explore the heritage of the museum.
The themes of the boxes are:- Roman Mosaics; Needle craft box; 1950s; 1960s; Design and printing box; WW2; Herbert Norris (this box has 2 parts)
Applications for the 2019-2020 small grants closed on 22 August 2019. Successful applicants will receive a formal offer letter from their MPO in early September.