Canterbury Museums and Galleries are one of only five successful museums to receive a grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund.

The £46,210 grant has been awarded to undertake a review of the City’s stored Art collection using an art expert who will also work alongside volunteers that suffer from debilitating anxiety. The project will make the collection more relevant and accessible to visitors whilst aiding the volunteers’ mental health and developing team skills and experience. The review will cover a variety of objects in the stored art collection including: oils, watercolours, etchings, drawings and prints, the majority of which have been in storage for many years.

Canterbury City Council’s Collection Manager, Craig Bowen said “We are very excited to have this opportunity. Unlocking the collections potential for developing ideas, stories, creativity and learning to help develop new audiences to access the museum is what we are all about”.

“This round of funding shows the diverse array of collections that can benefit from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and how collections work can be positive for the communities in which museums operate,” says Sarah Briggs, the MA’s collections development officer.

The project builds on the award winning health and wellbeing programme Canterbury Museums & Galleries service has achieved in the last few years. This is one of the first projects linked to the service’s plans as the Health and Wellbeing lead partner for the Kent and Medway Museums Partnership, one of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio Organisations.

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, run by the Museums Association, funds projects which develop collections to achieve social impact.

Additional Information

The Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund started in 2011 and 90 projects have so far received grants totalling £6.7m in 14 funding rounds. Between 2017 and 2019 it is offering a total of £3.5m in grants, as well as providing events and resources for the whole sector.

Museums, galleries and heritage organisations from across the UK can apply for a grant of between £20,000 and £120,000 for a project lasting up to three years.

Other successful applicants in this latest round include Manchester Art Gallery, Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery, The Whithorn Trust and Wisbech and Fenland Museum.