Image: © Oliver Taylor Photography / Derby Museums
Derby Museums is one of 33 museums and galleries across England set to receive a share of £4 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The Wolfson Foundation through the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund 2022-24, it has been announced this week. The funding has been made available to make museums and galleries across the country more accessible through initiatives such as building ramps and improving displays. A particular focus of the funding this year is on helping organisations to be more sustainable and adopt energy saving measures.
£71,700 has been awarded to Derby Museums to enhance visitor experience and improve access for visitors living with disabilities at Grade I listed Pickford’s House. The project, titled: The Reimagined Home: Changing views of Home, Work and Family for an Inclusive, Digital Age will make material improvements to the display, interpretation and collections at Pickford House.
The project will work with local communities to research under interpreted collections and co-produce new displays using objects currently in storage, such as Derby Museums’ significant costume collection which is currently almost entirely inaccessible to the public. The funding will enable these delicate pieces to be conserved and displayed safely in new bespoke cases.
Through the project, a new welcome and orientation space will be created to improve the visitor experience for people with physical access needs with an enhanced virtual reality offer to allow access to all floors of the Grade I listed Georgian town house.
Dr. Cathy Putz, Director of Programming at Derby Museums, said: “We are thrilled that Derby Museums has been awarded funding by the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund for our project: The Reimagined Home: Changing Views of Home, Work and Family for an Inclusive, Digital Age. The project will enable us to develop Pickford’s House, we will explore what Derby residents would like to know about the Georgian townhouse and will place our communities at its core as the site becomes a local hub of activity. We will make material improvements to Pickford’s House which will enhance visitor experience, improve accessibility and enhance the civic value of this site.”
The award will also enable the museum to further explore Pickford’s House as a place of home and work, building on relationships with partners across the city to explore everchanging ideas around home, work, and family, considering pandemic experiences and the cross-cultural diversity of Derby. Improvements will also be made to the gardens; new seating will be co-produced in the Museum of Making workshop to create a welcoming space that will aid wellbeing in the community.
Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: “The DCMS/Wolfson Fund aims to make sure more people can access our brilliant museums and galleries right across the county.
Thanks to this combination of public funding and private philanthropy, these awards will help people who may have previously found visiting museums and galleries difficult and make sure everyone can enjoy and engage with the wonderful collections and exhibitions they offer.
With 80 percent of the money going to museums outside the capital, this funding is further evidence of the Government’s commitment to levelling up and widening access to culture.”
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: “We’re delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with DCMS, which has now awarded over £50 million to outstanding museums and galleries over the past two decades.
While the projects funded are many and varied, they will all improve access to the treasures of our museums and galleries – allowing more people to enjoy and learn from these impressive collections, as well as safeguarding them for the future.”
To find out more about Pickford’s House or plan a visit, please see derbymuseums.org/pickfords-house/