Funding boost for Hastings Museum & Art Gallery agreed
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery has joined the Arts Council England's National Portfolio and will receive £450,000 over the next three years.
The funding was accepted by Hastings Borough Council's Cabinet on Tuesday 3 January. It will allow the museum to work on engaging with new audiences, as well as maintaining existing audiences. It will also see the museum working more outside of the museum walls in the community.
Cllr Andy Batsford, portfolio holder for culture and health, said: "This funding is wonderful news for Hastings Museum & Art Gallery. We are excited about the opportunities that it will bring and how it will enable the museum to keep developing the huge range of events and activities they offer. The museum really is a fantastic asset for our town. If you haven't been, I would encourage you to come along - there really is something for everyone to enjoy."
The museum will work closely with people living in areas of high deprivation; the LGBTQ+ community; people seeking sanctuary; home educating and disabled groups; families; older adults and primary schools; as well as cultural and community partners and local creatives. There are five strands to the work that will be done, including working with under-engaged communities to create a new programme of events, visibility and activity; continuing the work done by Hastings Digital Museum; improving volunteering and employment opportunities with the museum; and working to address the climate emergency.
Since 2018 the museum been on journey to become more community focused and relevant. It now has a successful track record of innovative working with local people to add their voices to the collections and create exhibitions and events. The museum programme puts inclusivity and community involvement at the heart of its work. It builds on the successful approach that has been developed over the last few years. The museum aims to connect people and communities with cultural activities to improve health and wellbeing and provide access to lifelong learning opportunities. The team are committed to achieving greater access, opportunity and fairness for the town's communities.
Today it is one of the leading museums in Sussex and has a growing national profile. It has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2019, Family Favourites Award for Best Educational Day Out in London & South East 2019 and the Museums Change Lives Awards 2020. The museum also received the Bronze Award for Best Small Visitor Attraction in The Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2020-2021. This year it was shortlisted by the Museum + Heritage Awards for community engagement programme of the year.