Visitors to Bankfield Museum in Halifax will benefit from new exhibitions, improved access and a new multi-use space for community groups, after Calderdale Council secured £120,000 from the Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund.
The Council will use the funding in a variety of ways to attract a wider range of visitors from all backgrounds; introduce new and unique collections; and increase the involvement of local community groups in shaping and using the museum.
The aim of the Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund is to enable museums to become more sustainable and resilient businesses. This is the third external funding investment into Bankfield Museum in the last three years, after the Heritage Lottery Fund grant for the popular First World War exhibition, ‘For King and Country’, and previous Arts Council England funding to hire apprentices and develop the use of digital technology, signage and interpretation in the Council’s museums service.
The project will incorporate the current library provision within Bankfield Museum, introducing new uses such as a meeting area for volunteers and community groups to work on museum projects; school classes and adult education groups, with new mobile display cases and furniture providing a flexible space which will be open longer for the benefit of all visitors.
Other new features will include:
- A new route around the museum to make it easier for people to navigate and discover more exhibits.
- More dementia-friendly resources, such as exhibitions on the history of the area to help spur the memory, with a focus on local people providing the content such as old photos and mementos.
- Improved access to archives and collections for visitors and researchers.
- A new exhibition space to showcase the work on collections by volunteers and community groups.
- A new reference section in the museum’s library to provide additional information on the collections and local history.
Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said:
“We are delighted that our bid to Arts Council England has been successful. It will help make our wonderful heritage and culture available to all, through improved facilities at Bankfield Museum and a wider range of exhibits exploring the many different elements of our local history. It’s about people getting more involved in the museum, exploring history for themselves and contributing towards exhibitions.
“The adaptation of the library space within the museum, to allow multiple and flexible uses, will provide an excellent resource and great legacy for this project. It will be a place where many groups can meet, work, discuss and present their ideas.”
For more information about the historic Bankfield Museum, its opening hours and current exhibitions, visit http://museums.calderdale.gov.uk