Council to receive £750,000 from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme towards museum and cultural centre

We are delighted to announce that the Council of the Isles of Scilly has received a grant of £750,000 from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme.

The Council is among 66 organisations to benefit from a share of over £22.7 million from the Capital Investment Programme. The programme aims to help cultural organisations across the country transform their buildings and equipment so they can operate safely post-pandemic, improve access, seize technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact.

On Scilly, this award will contribute to the provision of a new cultural venue which will house the Isles of Scilly Museum and provide a modern, flexible space for use by creatives and the wider community.

The proposals for the new centre include a museum, gift shop, café and flexible space for performances and other events, such as markets, talks, festivals, music, cinema viewings and meetings of community groups.

You can view designs for the new facility on the museum’s project website and a video walkthrough of the building is available on our YouTube channel. There is still time to respond to our consultation on the museum and cultural centre proposals before it closes at noon on 13 May 2022.

In providing a replacement home for the Isles of Scilly Museum (following the closure of its previous building in 2019) and also redeveloping the Town Hall space (which was closed for community use in the same year), the completed museum and cultural centre will make it easier for residents and visitors alike to access everything on offer from the local cultural sector and help develop links with organisations and creative individuals beyond the islands. This will create new opportunities for all and support the community to come together.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said “World class creativity and culture needs a resilient and sustainable infrastructure to allow it to flourish. With these investments in the buildings, equipment, and digital systems of cultural organisations across England, we are helping to secure the future of that infrastructure, and making sure that people from every part of the country can continue enjoying all the benefits it delivers for years to come.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, Arts Council England, South West said: “The Arts Council are delighted to announce £750,000 of investment in our priority place, towards the Isles of Scilly’s transformative New Museum and Culture Centre. This project will play an important role in the local community and strengthen the islands’ cultural offer. As a result, more people throughout the Islands’ rural communities and visitors alike,  will have access to high quality and sustainable culture. We look forward to seeing this project develop and cannot wait to witness its impact. We believe in the power of the arts, and this project is helping us to achieve the ten-year vision we set out in Let’s Create.”

Chairman of Council, Councillor Robert Francis said: “I’d like to thank Arts Council England for supporting this important project. The investment represents a welcome opportunity to provide a new home for the museum, help our local artists and creative economy to flourish and enhance our cultural offer for the whole community, including visitors to the islands. It is a significant milestone in our ambition to bring the new museum and cultural centre to life.”

Kate Hale, Curator of the Isles of Scilly Museum said: "this funding is a vital component in bringing together the plans for a fantastic cultural venue and a new home for the Isles of Scilly Museum. It's exciting that the value of the project has been recognised by Arts Council England and we look forward to being able to take the next steps towards providing a welcoming, inclusive facility for islanders and visitors to enjoy."

Publishing date: 
Tuesday, 10 May, 2022