January 2021 will go down as one of the oddest Januarys on record; at the Museum the New Year normally sees the Museum in steam, followed by the excitement of getting ready for the year head. Schools brave the cold to come in for visits, and the weekends are quiet, but nothing will stop our regular toddlers playing in the water, no matter the weather!
But this year saw the Museum closed, and once again we are working hard to save as much money as possible. We now only have four staff on the books (myself, Joanna, Gemma and Hayley). Hayley is fully furloughed and the rest of us are each working one day a week. This is just about enough to keep the Museum ticking over, and is saving us money whilst we have no income.
We have finished the project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and look forward to enjoying the improvements we have made to both the systems and site, and I was excited to put together an end of project report for the NLHF expressing what a big impact the funding has had on us at the Museum.
Also, over the last two weeks we have been putting together a funding bid for our reopening plans. This bid for the Cultural Recovery Fund looks at our plans for April to June, and what we might be able to deliver for our visitors over that time. As always lots of information was needed, so the first two weeks of the year for me have been spent preparing lots of budgets!
Now that the report and the bid are in, I am focusing on making sure everything is ok on site, and adjusting our plans as we find out more about what the next few months might look like. Although we have got used to uncertainty it doesn’t make it any easier for any of us and I feel this lockdown is harder than the first two for many of us, myself included. I am once again home schooling my three children, who although they are in primary school, seem to be doing advanced maths, or so it seems to me! we have also taken advantage of the offer of home school help by the Museum over social media, do feel free to ask a question and quiz Gemma!
As we move through February and March we will stay in touch with any updates, and we hope you all keep safe and well, we can’t wait to open the Museum for you all once again!