It was announced today that a partnership between Beamish and The Bowes Museum in County Durham has won national funding from Arts Council England worth more than £2.1million over the next three years (2015 – 2018).
Beamish and The Bowes will join forces to work on a wide variety of projects that will ensure the benefits of the funding are spread across County Durham and the wider region. In the field of arts, libraries and museums, Beamish and The Bowes will lead by example. They will continue to develop as centres for excellence in collections research and knowledge and help others to develop business models not reliant on public funding.
Plans include development of partnerships with schools and academies, bespoke training programmes for young or inexperienced staff and volunteers over a three year period, along with curatorial traineeship posts, work placements and apprenticeships. Distinctive offers for children and young people will continue to develop, creating new immersive experiences for young people, extending the Learning Network across County Durham museums.
In particular, the funding will support First World War commemorations over the next four years and provide a fantastic opportunity to connect with schools and communities to enable them to explore local stories together. Beamish will work with its large community population to encourage groups and
individuals to achieve their own WW1 goals; The Bowes will engage the Teesdale community through volunteer opportunities and training and participation in events.
Richard Evans, Museum Director at Beamish, the Living Museum of the North, said: “We are truly delighted to receive this backing from the Arts Council – it really is fantastic news for Durham and the North East. Working together with The Bowes this funding will help us build on our recent success. We are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead, as we develop our museums to be truly world-class. It is great to see two County Durham museums recognised on a national stage. The award is a tribute both to our self-reliance and to the support we have from our communities that make us the success that we are. ”
Adrian Jenkins, Director of The Bowes Museum said: “This is an excellent endorsement for the partnership and an encouragement for us to continue to deliver excellence and opportunities throughout the region.”