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General News > The Bowes Museum Secures Heritage Lottery Fund Support
The Bowes Museum has received initial support¹ for a £454,000 bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under its Skills for the Future programme² for the Conservation in Action project, it was announced today.
The project aims to utilise the Museum’s varied collections and its experienced conservation team to offer a number of twelve-month paid internships over a five year period, starting in July 2014. It will offer an intensive learning experience for graduates, enabling them to bridge the gap between academic training and meaningful practical experience in a museum environment.
Development funding of £9,300 has also been awarded to help the Museum progress its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
Conservation in Action will provide interns with training programmes tailored to address specific skills gaps in the sector while ensuring they receive a fully rounded museum experience. The project will cover aspects such as surveying, preventative conservation, staging of temporary exhibitions, supervision of volunteers and interaction with other museums; fostering independence, confidence and decision making. It will benefit The Bowes Museum by furthering the development of its regional partnerships, while offering interns the opportunity for short placements at other cultural venues.
The Museum has, over recent years, developed its conservation activity, covering picture, object, textile and preventative conservation with a small but skilled team. In addition to the training opportunities, the project will improve the Museum’s care of its collections, enable stored items to be put on display and make conservation activity more visible to visitors. It will also extend the Museum’s capacity for providing conservation training and advice in the region.
The Bowes Museum’s collections - awarded Designated status from the Government in view of their quality - span the 14th to the 20th Centuries and include paintings, ceramics, textiles and furniture. They are enhanced by an acclaimed exhibition programme, plus a lifelong learning programme which includes fun-filled family activities, scholarly lectures and a burgeoning schools programme involving visits to the Museum and outreach work.
Jon Old, Conservation Manager at The Bowes Museum, said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. This project will help the Museum move to the next stage in its development by allowing us to use our collections more extensively and further develop our recent progress in conservation. It will offer one of the best opportunities available for conservation graduates to gain hands-on experience of working in a museum environment while gaining key skills in their sector.”
Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, said: “Nurturing skills – of all types – continues to be a hugely important part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s portfolio of work. Skills for the Future is one of our most successful and over-subscribed programmes with fierce competition to secure funding. The 39 projects that have won through reflect the wide range of training and opportunities on offer in the heritage industry. We’re delighted that through this significant investment 876 new placements will be created right across the UK and hope that this additional funding will help encourage growth and build resilience within the sector.”