SIMT Awarded Arts Council England Funding
Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust has been awarded £85,373 from the Arts Council England’s Museums Resilience Fund.
This follows on from a previous award in 2013 for the Access All Areas project. The key aim was to investigate the particular issues posed by industrial museums and heritage sites for visitors with disabilities. Through the project, Sheffield Indsutrial Museums Trust were able to set up an Access Forum and invest in physical, sensory and online interventions to develop an organisational culture that understands people’s needs and actively welcomes and supports visitors with disabilities.
The focus of the new three year ‘Sustaining the Change’ project will enable the work initiated through the Access All Areas project to continue, with further training and accessible developments across the three sites – Kelham Island Museum, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and Shepherd Wheel.
Plans for the project include:
- Exclusive Autism friendly days.
- Extensive upgrade of lighting at Kelham Island Museum, to improve the visitor experience particularly for those with visual impairments and light sensitivity.
- Further staff training.
- Upgrade of signage and interpretation at Kelham Island Museum.
- Annual conferences to highlight and reflect on the achievements and disseminate best practice across the region.
The Access Forum will help to steer the project. Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust share the forum as part of a partnership with Green Estate.
Sarah Maxfield, Area Director, North, Arts Council England, said: “Our Museums resilience fund supports museums by enabling them to become more sustainable and robust, whatever their size, and helping them to offer improved experiences for both audiences and artists. I’m delighted that 27 museums across the North have been awarded a total of £3.7 million in this round and look forward to seeing the results of this funding in the future. The Arts Council’s aim is to achieve great art and culture for everyone – the North has some fantastic museums across the area which between them reach thousands of visitors each year therefore greatly supporting us in our mission.”