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Transforming People to Transform Museums

Colchester + Ipswich Museums and Suffolk Museums get the green light from National Lottery for innovative trainee project

Colchester + Ipswich Museum Service in partnership with Suffolk Museums have successfully secured £568,000 of National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under its Skills for the Future programme for the ‘Transforming People to Transform Museums’ project.

Colchester + Ipswich Museum Service will work in partnership with Suffolk County Council, the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket, the Long Shop Museum in Leiston and Palace House, Newmarket: National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art to invest £660,000 in supporting 27 trainees over three years. In March this year, the partnership was awarded £2,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop its second stage application and training plan. Now the funds have been granted and the project will begin in January 2018.

The ‘Skills for the Future’ project in Suffolk will invest £660,000 in supporting the 27 trainees over three years. Placements will last for one year, with nine trainees being supported each year.

One of the aims of the project is to work towards ensuring that those that work in museums better reflect the diversity of the locality that they service. It will therefore create opportunities for local people to explore a career in museums, which may not be something they have considered.

The trainees will get the opportunity to learn transferrable practical skills in managing events, producing displays, marketing, retail, identifying new income streams, building a business case, managing budgets, and analysing the returns. They will also learn core heritage skills such as collections management, research, documentation, conservation, and interpretation.

Colchester + Ipswich Museums will host four trainees, including two in Ipswich and two in Colchester. The Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket and Palace House, Newmarket: National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, will each host two trainees and the Long Shop Museum in Leiston will host one trainee. The project draws on collective learning from previous ‘Skills for the Future’ projects and ‘The Training Museum’, a successful 3-year workforce transformation project delivered by Colchester + Ipswich Museums, supported by Arts Council England.

By recruiting and supporting trainees from a diverse range of backgrounds the museums will increase their social impact and benefit the local economy.

Cllr Tony Goldson, SCC Cabinet Member for Health said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for young adults from diverse backgrounds to bring in new ideas and fresh perspectives into museums. The cultural sector in Suffolk employs over 2,500 people and attracts over 370,000 visitors. It is right that the important contribution that our museums make to the economic and social life of the county is recognised with this funding.”

Cllr Carole Jones, IBC Portfolio Holder for Development and Museums said: “Museums are a fantastic learning environment where people can grow their skills and confidence to support their future career goals. We are delighted more training opportunities have been created for young people in our town.”

Cllr Tim Young, CBC Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “Colchester’s heritage is a brilliant focus for young people to develop the skills they need to thrive in the workplace.”  

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re pleased to support this project which will provide fantastic opportunities for trainees to develop skills, enable some much-loved heritage sites to bring in new ideas and perspectives and create a lasting and successful impact for the future heritage sector workforce.”


For information on opportunities associated with this project please click here

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