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Over £760k funding announced for Monmouthshire’s museums

MONMOUTHSHIRE museums run by MonHeritage, part of Monmouthshire County Council, have received a welcome boost thanks to the latest funding awards.

Plans to relocate Monmouth’s museum into Shire Hall is a step closer thanks to news that it has been awarded a Development Grant of £349,928 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The welcomed funding will enable the Council to take forward the redevelopment of the Shire Hall as an accredited museum.

An additional £241,697 grant was awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund (Dynamic Collections) to improve cataloguing of the Monmouth Collection and to consult with local communities on stories they would like to be told in the museum’s displays. This work will include displays within the community as well as within Shire Hall.

Conservation work and improvements to the Nelson collection have already taken place. A report funded by the Federation of Museums and Galleries of Wales was produced during 2022 outlining the national significance of the Nelson collection. This has been endorsed by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. The museum has also worked with Race Council Cymru to carry out two initial workshops relating to previously under represented topics people would like to see explored relating to Nelson.

Cllr. Sara Burch, Cabinet Member with responsibility for MonHeritage museums, said: “I am delighted that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has supported the plans for the relocation of Monmouth’s museum into Shire Hall. It will help us progress with the plans to make the museum, its collection and future exhibitions even more representative of Monmouth, the county, its history and its people.”

Cllr Sara Burch

MonHeritage’s museums in Abergavenny and Chepstow have also benefitted from funding. They were recently awarded £173,318 by Welsh Government for the project Researching, re-examining and reclaiming: the heritage and culture of Monmouthshire’s Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities. This work will contribute to the heritage goals in the Anti Racist Wales Action Plan. The award builds on work begun at the two museums and will lead to improved interpretation of the collections, better representing their links to slavery, colonisation and empire and acknowledging Monmouthshire communities’ past role in slavery, empire and globalisation

With Race Council Cymru, MonHeritage will host community workshops to explore ways to better interpret the collections. Work with the communities will enable the Learning and Curatorial team to create an activity programme, which is likely to include cultural events, exhibitions and displays in Monmouthshire venues. In addition, community and learning activities will take place in local schools and in the county’s museums. The content will be inspired by the collections and local heritage.

In Chepstow a £10,000 National Lottery Heritage funded project has just been completed to research and re-interpret the lives of the nurses who worked at the museum when it was a hospital. The exhibition inspired by this project is open until December 2023.

Chepstow museum will also be opening an permanent display relating to the Wye Tour in July. It will include the recently acquired painting by JMW Turner, secured thanks to £76,000 of funding from Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and National Lottery support, Museums Association Beecroft Bequest, The Usk Valley Trust.

To find out more about Monmouthshire museums visit www.monlife.co.uk/heritage/

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