Culture24 began life as the 24 Hour Museum, publishing the website of the same name. This original website, set up to be the “National virtual museum” was launched by the then Secretary of State Chris Smith in May 1999 and was under joint management from mda (now Collections Trust) and Campaign for Museums.
The BBC website displaying the article which announced our launch
You can still read the original story on the BBC website here
Under the guidance of DCMS we became an independent not-for-profit company called 24 Hour Museum in April 2001 and took on Jane Finnis as the first member of staff and Loyd Grossman as its Chairman.
The organisation opened its first office in Brighton in the same year and began to grow not just its online audience but also its team. By November 2007, with a team of six, we rebranded the organisation as Culture24 to reflect the diversity of our activities and our cross-sector approach.
James Purnell MP (left) and John Newbigin Culture24 Chairman (right) at the launch
The event was marked at an event at DCMS where John Newbigin, Chair of Culture24 Trustees, said: "We're going to carry on doing what we do best; publishing great stories about UK culture all over Britain; pulling in those big web audiences; but our key mission now goes a bit further, letting people know what's out there, getting them to engage with things in a more educative way, brokering out content and audiences to our creative and cultural sector partners."
The rebranding was complete in February 2009 when the 24 Hour Museum website finally went offline after ten years and was replaced with the new Culture24 site.