Cornwall Council Museum Policy 2012 - 2015 Council will fulfil in delivering Cornwall¢â‚¬â„¢s Museum Strategy

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  • Cornwall Council

    Museums’ Policy

    2012 - 2015

    May 2012

  • Cornwall Council Museums’ Policy 2012 - 2015 2

    What is this document for? This policy outlines the approach Cornwall Council will take in its interaction with museums and its responsibilities towards them. It provides a

    reference point for the Council’s wider decision making where this involves or affects museums in the county. It informs the ongoing negotiations between the sector and Cornwall Council and describes the role Cornwall

    Council will fulfil in delivering Cornwall’s Museum Strategy 2012-15. It outlines the ways in which the Council will manage its investment in

    museums from 2012 onwards. It is intended to guide future planning and allocation of resources and to assist in negotiations within the Council, with external partners and between the Culture Team and the museum sector.

    What do we mean by ‘museums’? Within this document the term ‘museum’ refers to the collections, as well as the buildings in which they are stored or exhibited.

    ‘The Museums Association (MA) agreed a definition in 1998. It says:

    'Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. They are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artefacts and specimens, which they

    hold in trust for society.'

    In Cornwall there are museum collections permanently housed in buildings (such as the Royal Cornwall Museum), some collections which have no building (for example Cornwall Council’s Schools’ Art Collection and

    Newquay Old Cornwall Society’s collection displayed at Dairyland), some which are seen in temporary or travelling exhibitions and some collections

    information available virtually on the web. The term museum includes art galleries whose principal purpose is to exhibit works of art for the public1.

    Cornwall has over 70 museums including: • Town council managed building-based museums such as Falmouth

    Art Gallery, Liskeard and District Museum and Penlee House

    • 1 Cornwall Council owned and managed museum namely Helston Museum

    • 1 museum jointly owned by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council - Mount Edgcumbe House

    • National Trust owned and managed collections, displayed in historic buildings e.g. Lanhydrock House, Antony House and Cotehele

    • Museums associated with specific companies or organisations, such the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and Leach Pottery, St Ives

    • Museums with working machinery related to the county’s industrial

    heritage, such as Geevor Tin Mine, Wheal Martyn and East Pool Mine

    • Museums and heritage centres focusing on collections specific to a locality such as Saltash Heritage, Bude Castle Heritage Centre and Gallery and St Agnes Museum

    1 It does not include commercial galleries whose principal purpose is the sale of works of art.

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    • Museums or collections focused on individual figures associated with Cornwall such as Mary Newman’s Cottage

    • I Ministry of Defence museum, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum in Bodmin

    • Museums with National collections namely Tate St Ives and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall

    • Independent museums housed in buildings owned by Cornwall Council including St Ives Museum

    • Private museums such as the Wayside Museum in Zennor While the public sector museums and some of the other independent

    museums have professional staff and paid employees, most depend on volunteers for at least some of their work and many of the voluntary sector

    museums are wholly run by volunteers. Most museums with professional staff are based in the west of the county.

    Corporate Policy Context This policy, and the Cornwall Museums Strategy to which it relates, have

    been informed by a number of key strategic documents namely: • Cornwall’s White Paper for Culture 2011

    • Cornwall Council White Paper, Economic Ambition 2011

    • Cornwall Council Business Plan 2010-14

    • ‘Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries

    for everyone’, Arts Council England 2011

    • HLF’s ‘Valuing our heritage, investing in our future: 2008-2013’

    The role of the Council in supporting museums Cornwall Council’s aspiration is that:

    • the educational, social and economic value of museums and the

    unique work that they do will be recognised right across the work of

    the Council

    • the importance of museums in helping to understand and

    communicate the distinctive culture, heritage and ‘sense of place’ of

    Cornwall will be recognised and represented in corporate strategies

    • museums will be recognised as vital visitor attractions and as leisure

    time, educational, community and tourist destinations

    Cornwall Council will play an active role in supporting the delivery of the Cornwall Museum’s Strategy as part of a working partnership between the

    museums sector, the Museum Development team and the Council’s Culture Team. Cornwall Council is committed to investing in and supporting museums in

    Cornwall to deliver the priorities of the Cornwall Museums Strategy. Whilst it cannot be the principal funder of museums in the county, it recognises

    the important role it can play in helping to lever investment from other sources to enable museums to grow and flourish. Cornwall Council will work alongside other funders, including the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery

    Fund, through the Culture Investment Board, to help drive up investment in museums across the county.

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    The museums policy of the Council is to develop and support opportunities

    for everybody in Cornwall: • to be able to take part in and experience a wide range of high quality

    museum services

    • to have access to museum collections and resources which are cared for, managed and developed and interpreted to high standards

    • to be able to share in the social, educational and economic benefits which museums provide.

    The Council’s policy is to direct its investment towards the delivery of excellence across the sector, in larger and small museums. It also

    recognises that it has a responsibility to support organisations which manage Council owned buildings and/or collections on behalf of the Council.

    Key partners The Council is committed to supporting the delivery of excellent museum

    services in Cornwall in partnership with the Museum Development team, the museum sector and all members of the Culture Investment Board (including

    Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund). It will promote engagement with key partners in the sector including:

    • Cornwall Cultural Partnership

    • Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

    • Cornwall Development Company (including Visit Cornwall)

    • Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum

    • National Trust

    • English Heritage

    • SW Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

    • Museums Association

    And will help to establish and broker new partnerships between museums and other cultural sector organisations where they will contribute to the

    delivery of strategic priorities outlined in the Museums Strategy.

    The role of the Culture Team The Culture Team comprises 2.6 FTEs and is part of the Economic Development Service within Cornwall Council. Its role is to promote a

    healthy creative ecology by • Collecting evidence that creativity and culture are key to health, well

    being and sustainable communities

    • Promoting equal provision across Cornwall

    • Providing a focal point for this complex sector

    • Developing cultural strategy and policy

    • Ensuring synergies / building partnerships

    • Advocating for and representing the sector locally, regionally and


    • Identifying and building new initiatives

    • Securing new investment

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    • Providing a creative contact point for community networks

    • Delivering projects

    • Providing advice and guidance on creative project development

    • Supporting industry networks

    • Managing and monitoring grants

    • Supporting organisational development of cultural organisations

    • Commissioning or developing strategic initiatives

    • Developing creative programmes to tackle priorities such as safer,

    healthier communities, worklessness and health

    • Developing cross cultural service initiatives

    • Being an active cultural ambassador for the area

    Museums in Cornwall form part of the wide remit of the Culture Team which

    ranges from visual art to digital media, from literature to architecture. The Culture Team will continue to explore the most cost effective and efficient

    mechanisms for engaging with the museums sector and ensuring that the Council’s investment in museums delivers maximum impact. This will include exploring how the Council can support museum mergers and/or

    shared services. The team’s role in relation to museums is