Swindon Museums benefit from major Arts Council funding

Swindon Museums are benefiting from a major three-year funding package from Arts Council England.

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway and Lydiard House Museum will join the Wessex Museums partnership, which has been successful in extending its current National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status from 2023 to 2026. The partnership will receive £1.3m from the Arts Council over three years, which includes extra funding to welcome the Swindon museums into the group.

In April 2023, the three Swindon museums will be joining the current Wessex partner museums of Poole Museum, Dorset Museum, The Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum.

Swindon Museums Manager, Frances Yeo, said: “We are tremendously excited to be working collaboratively with Wessex Museums. The funding from Arts Council England, which has been awarded to the Wessex Museums partnership, will enable Swindon Museums to progress community engagement programmes, collections loans and ambitious joint exhibition programmes with our partner museums across the region.”

The NPO funding will support a range of innovative projects across the museums to improve collections, engage diverse local communities, and deliver exciting events and exhibitions, as well as champion equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and environmental sustainability.

Councillor Matty Courtliff, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Leisure, and Town Centre Experience, said: “It’s a very exciting time for Swindon Museums, following the very positive public session we hosted on our plans for the new home of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery at the Civic Offices. I’m really proud of the hard work that the museums team has put into achieving this successful funding bid.

“We believe STEAM, Lydiard House Museum and Swindon Museum and Art Gallery will benefit greatly from being a part of Wessex Museums’ thriving partnership, and we look forward to collectively sharing the story of the culture and heritage of Wessex in ways that inspire, connect and add value to people’s lives. We are very grateful to Arts Council England for their support.”

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