This last lockdown has been hard for everyone, and hard for the Museum to cope with. Therefore, it seemed fitting that as the lockdown started to ease we received the wonderful news that we have been award a grant from DCMS Cultural Recovery Fund to support the Museum as we get ready and reopen once again.
Along with supporting the core running costs of the Museum during April, May and June, the funding will enable us to reopen with our best foot forward.
One of the things we are most keen to do is to welcome back our volunteering team, and there is so much for us all to get our teeth into! With the Museum not able to welcome volunteers for the majority of the year, it will be all hands on deck to make sure the Museum and the site is safe and ready for our visitors. To start with that will mean clearing the garden, preparing the galleries for visitors and making the signage ready. Not glamorous work, but key in getting us reopen again.
During May we will aim to reopen first to our local community, and then for the May half term, with family activities. With our volunteers’ help we will aim to have our railway up and running again for a few days, and the sound of the train whistle will be wonderful to hear back on site, the first time since 2019. We can’t wait for the Museum to be active again with families, activities, storytelling and splash zone back in action.
Then in June, once again with our volunteers’ help, we will aim to have the Museum back in steam, with engines in action once again. If we are able to put together these three key events it will mark the start of the summer for us, with the Museum back in full action. It will boost our ticket sales, which will in turn start to rebuild our income and what we are able to do as a Museum.
Straightaway the staff will be able to return from furlough and start planning for the summer and beyond. It has been so hard to not be able to work as we would like to during the Museum’s closure, but thanks to the Cultural Recovery Fund the light at the end of the tunnel, for us personally and for the Museum has now got much closer and is shinning brightly once again.
We can’t wait to welcome you back, once again Here for Culture.