Royal Cornwall Museum

Council backing secures Royal Cornwall Museum’s short-term future

Transitional support from the Council is hoped to allow the museum to find a long-term funding solution to avoid permanent closure.

Cornwall Council has announced initial transitional support for the Royal Cornwall Museum, securing its future after a tumultuous period in which staff said it was at threat of closure.

In July, the Council chose not to provide further funding to the museum. lt said it had received 51 applicants to its culture and creative investment programme and was, as a result, heavily oversubscribed.

At the time, the museum’s Artistic Director Bryony Robins said of the decision: “We are bewildered that after supporting our transformation and being so positive about the huge developments the museum has made, the council has now done this.”

Cornwall Council said it had received 51 applicants to its culture and creative investment programme and was, as a result, heavily oversubscribed.

This week the Council announced initial transitional support while Royal Cornwall Museum reviews its business plan and applies for funding from partners to “create a museum for the 21st Century.”

The Council said the museum “has been working with the strategic partners in the Cornwall Culture Investment Board and with Cornwall Museums Partnership to explore solutions that keep the museum’s collections open to the public.”

The Culture Investment Board brings Cornwall Council, Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England to coordinate cultural projects in Cornwall.

Councillor Carol Mould, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods said: it was a “unique situation”, and that the Cornwall Culture Investment Board “are keen to ensure that the public are able to continue to enjoy the collections at the Royal Cornwall Museum which tell key parts of Cornwall’s story”.

Mould added: “the Council is keen to find different ways to develop the long-standing relationship between the Council, RCM and other partners, and that the first step is for the museum “to carry out a thorough review of their business and development plan so that it can attract funding from other agencies.”

Jonathan Morton of the Royal Cornwall Museum said: “We are extremely grateful that Cornwall Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Arts Council and Historic England have recognised the positive trajectory of RCM’s long-term plans for a sustainable future. This initial support will help us transition into our longer term plans.

“We would also like to say how grateful we are to everyone who has supported the museum and its importance to Cornwall over the last few years and in the last few months.

“The offer of this transitional support puts us in a really positive position to continue our work and to build a longer-term funding solution, one that will still require a huge amount of effort and will mean we continue to need the support of everyone in Cornwall.”