£300,000 funding announced for ‘innovative’ museum projects

13 January 2020
As a new decade begins, nine projects around the country have been awarded a share of 300k of funding from Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), the national development body for Scotland’s museums.

Funding from MGS’s Museum Development Fund will support these projects as they look to the future through redevelopment, international partnership projects and the preservation of important collections. 

The nine projects range from celebrating local family history through the refurbishment of a resource centre in Nairn Museum, to creating meaningful international relationships through connecting David Livingstone Birthplace with organisations in Malawi, Botswana and Zambia.

Future innovation will be at the forefront of a new interactive and immersive gallery space exploring robotics in surgery at Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. The projects supported through the MGS Museum Development Fund are:

  • David Livingstone Birthplace
  • Grampian Transport Museum
  • Nairn Museum
  • Scottish Contemporary Art Network with match-funding from Art Fund and Creative Scotland
  • University of St Andrews
  • Highland Museum of Childhood
  • Culture Perth and Kinross
  • Dundee Museum of Transport
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Looking to the future

Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland said: ‘We are delighted to support museums and galleries in Scotland to continue their ambitious approach to making the fascinating collections in their care accessible to everyone.

The nine funded projects are looking to the future to create museums that are relevant and responsive to their community and visitors. Many of the museums are using the grant to strengthen their position in these changing times through developing their financial sustainability, increasing digital use in exhibitions, and creating peer to peer learning opportunities’.

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International connections

The David Livingstone Birthplace received £39,000 for a project which will develop working partnerships and networks between museums and organisations that hold collections relating to Livingstone in the African countries he explored. 

Grant MacKenzie, Project Manager David Livingstone Birthplace, explained more about how the funding will be used: ‘David Livingstone was one of the foremost international travellers through his explorations in Sub-Saharan Africa and the trust is uniquely placed to foster contemporary intern ational links with the countries that he visited. We are delighted that the Museums Galleries Scotland grant will enable us to work with Museums in Malawi, Zambia, and Botswana developing knowledge of our collections, sharing best practice and then sharing this with Scotland’s heritage sector.’

In Zambia the David Livingstone Birthplace will work with the National Museums Board and the Livingstone Museum on combined research activities to develop knowledge of Livingstone and artefacts there and at his birthplace in Blantyre. The project will improve interpretation at both museums and digitally, sharing best practice on collections management and supporting each organisation’s financial sustainability.
In Malawi the David Livingstone Birthplace will be working on developing its Legacy Exhibition, which is part of the new exhibition at the David Livingstone Birthplace, as a touring programme. Links with Malawian museums have also been instigated.The David Livingstone Birthplace will be working with the British High Commission in Botswana to source host locations for a Legacy Exhibition in the country. This will widely broaden the reach of the museum and attract a much wider audience to learn about Livingstone’s life and legacy.

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Image: Colin Hattersley Photography for Museums Galleries Scotland

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