Dorset has been awarded a £187,401 Capital Kickstart grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund enabling the organisation to push forward with the Tomorrow’s Museum for Dorset project despite the financial challenge caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
The Museum is one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million today. The Capital Kickstart grants programme helps organisations cover costs added to capital projects such as building works, refurbishments, and large-scale equipment purchases by pandemic-related delays or fundraising shortfalls.
We are also delighted to announce today that we have been awarded £979,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This means that with the donations so far from our public appeal there is only £50,000 to raise of our overall £15.1-million-pound target.
Since 2018, builders, architects, electricians, gallery designers, and curators have been hard at work bringing together the new reimagined and inspirational galleries which will collectively tell the story of 250 million years of Dorset’s history and display collections of National and International significance.
These collective sums are greatly received. Covid-19 has had a dramatic effect on progress during 2020, with builders and staff following social distancing and lockdown rules. This has led to reopening being postponed until 2021, and has also meant that the costs to bring the new museum to life have increased.
Director of Dorset Museum, Dr Jon Murden said, “The faith shown in us by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England is extremely gratifying. Their combined additional contributions of over £1.2 million towards the Tomorrow’s Museum for Dorset project, has helped us overcome the additional costs and delays which have been caused solely by the Covid-19 crisis. We are so very grateful to them for their support, and their continued recognition of the significance of this major cultural project for Dorset. The importance of the story of this place, its heritage and its people, is reflected in their generosity. And as we move towards the completion of the construction phases of the project, I cannot wait to throw open our doors early in 2021, and finally share the new museum with everyone”.