Museums Sheffield wins major funding bid to improve visitor experience

The grant will support Weston Park Museum: A Bright Future, an expansive £1million plan to transform several of the museum’s public areas.

It’s another huge boost for Museums Sheffield, which runs Weston Park, Millennium Gallery and Graves Gallery, after it succeeded in its application to become a Major Partner Museum in July with Arts Council England awarding the Trust £1.8m from April 2015 to March 2018.

Weston Park Museum: A Bright Future will see the creation of inspiring new displays in the museum’s About Art and History Lab galleries, updates to the Sheffield Life & Times and What on Earth display spaces, and improvements to the upstairs picnic space.

The re-development will allow Museums Sheffield to change displays more frequently, sharing more of the city’s extensive collections of archaeology, natural sciences, social history and visual art with visitors.

Acting on feedback from visitors, Sheffield’s archaeological finds and sporting history will play a greater role in the permanent displays on view at the museum.


“We’re hugely grateful to the HLF for supporting our plans for the redevelopment of Weston Park,” said Kim Streets, Chief Executive of Museums Sheffield.

“The museum has been a huge success, but has the potential to be even better. The redevelopment will enable to us to share even more of the wonderful stories in Sheffield’s collections and provide the best possible experience for our visitors.”

In addition to the primary funding from the HLF, Weston Park Museum: A Bright Future has been supported by a number of charitable organisations across the UK, with a final phase of fundraising scheduled for the New Year. Work on the improvements will begin in late 2015 with the last of the new-look galleries being unveiled in October 2016.

Weston Park museum reopened to the public in 2006 following a major redevelopment funded by a £17 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant with significant support from Sheffield City Council.

Since reopening, the museum has become a firm favourite in the city, attracting over 250,000 visitors a year and winning the Guardian Newspaper Family Friendly Museum of the Year award. The project will make strategic improvements to key public areas, building on both earlier investment and the museum’s overwhelming successes to date.

The go-ahead for the Weston Park plans follows Museums Sheffield’s successful application to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport in January for £110,000 to support the redevelopment of the Millennium Gallery’s Metalwork Collection displays, set to open in spring 2015.