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.
Cambridgeshire Museums Small Grants 2021-22
In 2021-22 grants were up to £750 and were allocated in two rounds for all projects to be completed by March 2021. Due to the pandemic it was recognised by ACE that support for reopening and resilience was key to surviving the effects of Covid 19. In the previous grant schemes Museums were required to demonstrate how their plans fitted with ACE’s five goals and with their own forward plans. Although this was still important the small grants scheme was increased to £750 and a focus on the 3rd goal of sustainably and resilience was very much the emphasis. A total of 16 awards were made, with total value of over £9,600. Even though there was a preference for projects that supported reopening and the ability to operate within the ongoing Covid regulations, there was also many projects that looked to the future and in preparation for Accreditation returns.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the successful projects from 2021-22
Ely Museum – Museum activity packs for all
Ely Museum created craft and activity packs for our local foodbank. Building on a successful track record of this during the summer of 2020, and by applying feedback received from both the organisations and individuals, they ensured the packs included all of the materials and equipment needed to make four crafts and try eight activities inspired by our ‘Ely through the Ages’ theme.
The packs allowed them to reach new, and largely previously unengaged audiences whilst providing fun, educational activities they can enjoy at home throughout the summer.
With admission costs being the biggest barrier at the museum for many, the pack included a free admission tickets which allowed the family to both enjoy a day out to the museum and the chance to engage with our new interactive exhibits.
Cromwell Museum – Forward Planning
The Cromwell Museum undertook a consultation exercise lead by a consultant the trustees, volunteers, key stakeholders, and members of the public to establish a vision and Forward Plan for the Museum.
Funding was awarded for an external facilitator to guide the meeting and allow Trustees and staff to have their say and come up with a framework for the next 3 years. Staff will take the results of this away and consult with volunteers, then flesh out the results before bringing a draft version back to the board for approval early in the new year.
Peterborough Museum – New Braille Interpretation
Peterborough museum commissioned a physical access audit of the museum by EMBED in June 2021, as part of CRF 2. This audit was aimed to support the museum to reopen and examine their spaces after lockdown period, and highlight priority actions to open up the museum to a wider audience, providing an inclusive, accessible environment.
The report highlighted as one of the priority areas in all of the galleries there was no or very little large print alternative to exhibition panels and text, and no other formats available such as braille or audio-visual. Since the report large print alternatives have been produced for all galleries. This project will allow the large print versions to be translated into Braille by RNIB to provide an additional alternative format for visitors with visual impairments.
Prickwillow Museum – Welcoming schools back
A small grant was awarded to fund an education consultant to review and develop the schools offering and create workshop sessions in line with the current curriculum and teacher requirements. Along with training of new and exciting volunteers to deliver this new school programme for the new school year.