Poole Museum is to benefit from a share of £1.3 million from Arts Council England.
The museum is lead-partner of the Wessex Museums Partnership – which includes Dorset, Wiltshire and Salisbury museums - and the award has been made after the partnership was successfully admitted to the Arts Council’s ‘National Portfolio’ from April 2018.
The Arts Council National Portfolio includes a range of leading arts and culture organisations across the country who receive preferential funding over a 4-year term. The grant follows a successful bid in early 2017. The money will be used for a broad range of activities including the development and care of the museum collections, community activities, online and digital projects and marketing. There will also be a major new exhibition of the artist Augustus John at Poole Museum in 2018. All museums within the partnership also plan to digitise their collections over the four year period.
Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Community, Borough of Poole, said: “It’s a great achievement to get NPO-status in a nationally competitive field. This allows Poole and all museums in the partnership to grow and deliver even more to our communities. And the extra funding – outside the council – is an important step in keeping these services going.”
Michael Spender, Museum and Arts Manager, Borough of Poole, said, "We are thrilled that the partnership has joined the National Portfolio and received a very significant grant.
“As Wessex Museum Partnership, we are a key group of museums that tell the stories of Dorset and Wiltshire. Arts Council England's previous investment in the partnership has borne fruit, leading to acceptance into the National Portfolio and exciting developments in prospect over the next four years.”