Museums Norfolk to unite community and venues with new Museums at Night funding

By Culture24 Reporter | 24 June 2014

Heritage and creative venues across North Norfolk aim to inspire residents and visitors after winning a Heritage Lottery Fund award

A photo of the outside of a theatre
Sheringham Little Theatre will be taking part in Museums at Night in North Norfolk© Sheringham Little Theatre
From the industrial marvels of a lamplit museum of gas to a collection devoted to air defence radar systems deployed by the RAF, North Norfolk will lay on a large-scale, free annual festival across 21 attractions after winning a two-year Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The Museums Norfolk alliance will receive £75,800 to create Museums at Night events, building on their success across the region. Theatres and local libraries will also take part in a scheme which will provide employment training for young people, an education programme in schools, reading groups and openings for volunteering and mentoring.

“We believe this project will have real benefits for our members and for people living in or visiting North Norfolk,” said Jacqui Palmer, the Chair of the group. “It shows that by working together we can achieve more than we can individually.”

Robert Llewellyn, the head of the Lottery Fund, said the money would encourage engagement among visitors and businesses, with the aim of creating a sustainable festival for years to come.

“We were really impressed by the range of activities that are going to take place across so many of the wonderful heritage sites in North Norfolk,” he explained.

“Young people and their families are going to have fascinating and enjoyable experiences.”

More than 750,000 people visit museums in the county annually.

“Evidence demonstrates that where venues collaborate together to produce Museums at Night events there are huge increases in participation and visitor numbers,” said Nick Stockman, of festival organisers Culture24.

“I’m looking forward with excitement to seeing the events produced by the partnership venues.

“I see this announcement as an immensely positive step towards our goal of all eligible cultural venues taking part in the festival by 2020.”

Highlights of this year’s festival in North Norfolk included an after-hours glimpse of the Victorian fisherman’s cottage housing the Cromer Museum and a World War II-themed evening based around bomb maps at the Norfolk Record Office.

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