Norfolk museum service hails £1.2m boost to make museums better

Norwich Castle Museum.

Norwich Castle Museum. - Credit: Evening News © 2007

Norfolk will remain a leading light in helping improve museums across the eastern region, after the county's museum service was given a £1.2m boost.

And that, museum bosses said, will mean a better experience for people visiting museums, while schools will benefit from innovative ways of bringing the past to life.

Norfolk Museums Service has been awarded the money from Arts Council England so it can support museums across the east, including the 10 which it runs in the county and other accredited museums.

The money is for over the next three years and museum bosses said it will help to make museums in Norfolk and beyond better, while helping them survive in challenging times.

It will be used in the service's skills sharing scheme SHARE Museums East and will help train museum staff and volunteers.

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Jo Warr, head of development at Norfolk Museums Service, said: 'The main aim is to make museums better for visitors. A lot of what we do is around training and development.

'We have a great track record in delivering a programme across the region through SHARE Museums East, working in partnership with regional and national partners.

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'We are delighted to be able to continue this programme of work, which benefits both the service and the sector in the East of England.'

Plans for the next three years include improving digital access to collections, supporting museums to build good governance and get more resilient in tough financial times.

The scheme will also develop innovative schools and family learning activities, museum bosses said.

Hedley Swain, from Arts Council England, said: 'We are delighted to have been able to support Norfolk Museums Service's continued contribution to museum development and excellence in the East of England through the museum development fund.

'It has already established a national reputation for its outstanding programme of development opportunities and this funding will enable it to build further on this success.'

Paul Smyth, chairman of the communities committee at Norfolk County Council, said: 'This latest award from Arts Council England recognises the excellent reputation our museums service has established.

'It holds a key leadership role in the wider museum sector and the service's track record of working with and supporting museums of all shapes and sizes has helped improve standards across the sector.'

• What do you think of Norfolk's museums? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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