Having officially come into existence on 1st April, the new unified museums trust which amalgamates Museums Sheffield and Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust has received £159,000 to ensure its vision for a more vibrant, cohesive cultural offer in the South Yorkshire city can be realised.
Following the merger, Sheffield Museums now oversees the city’s largest group of cultural attractions – Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Graves Gallery, Kelham Island Museum, Millennium Gallery, Shepherd Wheel and Weston Park Museum.
The £159,000 grant will be channelled into areas such as employee training and development, alongside the more fundamental practicality of staff retention. The ongoing costs of maintaining a ‘Covid-safe’ environment will also be supported by the Culture Recovery Fund award.
Now the immediate future of the fledgling trust is secure, plans are afoot for new exhibitions and displays, belated 50th birthday celebrations for Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, and a move to free entry at both Abbeydale and Kelham Island Museum – all of which are scheduled to come into effect later in the year.
Kim Streets, chief executive of Museums Sheffield, says the trust is “hugely grateful” to the DCMS and Arts Council England for “vital funding which will help us reopen and lay firm foundations to build on over the coming months”.
The latest emergency support – adding to a combined £598,000 received via the first round of Culture Recovery Fund grants – has enabled the newly formed museums group to work on plans “for reopening and beyond”, she adds, noting that these will be shared with the public in the weeks ahead.