14 museums to benefit from over £550k of MGS funding
Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) has announced over £550k funding for 15 different projects in 14 museums across Scotland. The projects span from Shetland to Ayrshire, and include new museum signage, restoring a historic building, and creating an exhibition space in a lighthouse keepers’ cottage.
The largest award has gone to the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, who have secured over £75,000 for two separate projects to improve access to the Museum of Scottish Railways in Bo’ness. The awards will fund the creation of a new entrance area to the museum as well as installing a level crossing across the main railway line on the site, a welcome improvement for those who are unable to use the existing footbridge.
Two museums are set to share £83,000 towards projects that will use digital tools to allow the public to interact with collection items in a whole new way. In Dundee, the McManus’ ship model collection will be put on display in its entirety for the first time thanks to a mixture of 3D scanning, 360 ° visualisation and photography. Detailed digital recreations of the extensive collection of model ships and their fascinating history will be available to view both in the gallery and online. The Scottish Maritime Museum will conduct a similar project to produce 3D images of items that are large and difficult to move or challenging to conserve. These digital images will form the basis of a digital touring exhibition and an online exhibition, as well as being used in the museum itself.
Julie McCombie, Curator of Social History at Leisure and Culture Dundee, said:
“We would like to thank Museum Galleries Scotland for this funding which will enable us to bring this project to life. There is such a strong sense of enthusiasm and ownership about this area of the collection, it feels only right that we can now share these histories with our visitors both in the museum and online. We can’t wait to dive in and get started.”
John McLeish, Interim CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:
“MGS is delighted to be supporting such a broad range of projects through our Museum Development Fund. From addressing accessibility issues to exploring digital innovation, these projects will enhance visitor experiences, improve community engagement, and ensure the continued relevance and resilience of these museums for future generations.”
Full List of Awards by Geographical Area
Argyll and Bute
Auchindrain Trust - Urras Achadh an Droighinn, The New House at Auchindrain: Conservation and Restoration, £60,000
This project will conserve and restore the exterior of ‘The New House’ at Auchindrain, which is part of their Recognised collection and also houses the museum's offices.
Scottish Maritime Museum Trust, Scanning the Horizon, £43,000
The Scottish Maritime Museum will use the funding to employ a project officer who will coordinate 3D digitisation of items that are large and difficult to move or challenging to conserve. These digital images will form the basis of a digital touring exhibition and an online exhibition, as well as being used in the museum itself.
Dumfries & Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway Council, The Whithorn Excavations Revisited, £60,000
This project will engage an early mediaeval archaeology expert to revisit the Nationally Significant Whithorn archaeological collections. Advancements in research and analysis techniques since the collection was excavated mean that it is likely that the project will result in some radical discoveries in relation to dates and interpretation.
Dundee & Angus
ANGUSalive, Spotlight on Arbroath's Fishing Heritage, £40,000
ANGUSalive will develop unused areas in the two lighthouse keepers' cottages at the Signal Tower Museum to create new community spaces. The cottages will house exhibition spaces, a gallery and a community workshop area. Features of the new space will include a reconstructed 70s fishing vessel, model fishing boats and an audio-visual display on the history of Arbroath’s fishing industry.
Leisure and Culture Dundee, Exploring the ship model collection at McManus £40,000
The McManus’ ship model collection will be put on display in its entirety for the first time thanks to a mixture of 3D scanning, 360 ° visualisation and photography. Detailed digital recreations of the extensive collection of model ships and their fascinating history will be available to view both in the gallery and online.
Falkirk (& Bo’ness)
Falkirk Community Trust, Opening up transport and shipping collections at Falkirk Community Trust, £17,348
This project will increase access to, and the storage conditions of, the shipping, shipbuilding and transport collections held by Falkirk Community Trust. The museum is planning an exhibition involving many of these collections but they are currently inaccessible due to racking which has become dangerous. The funding will support the installation of new racking in a currently underutilised space. The collection will be removed, catalogued and digitised and researched for the exhibition before being relocated to the new storage area.
Scottish Railway Preservation Society, Steaming Ahead - Museum Entrance, £60,000
This project will improve access to the Museum of Scottish Railways by building a new entrance area to the museum. The museum sits on the working yard at Bo'ness and access to the museum is the furthest point from the entrance to the site and requires visitors to navigate a footbridge and path round the perimeter of the site or go via the longer accessible path of some 500m. This grant will contribute to the construction of a new entrance on the south wall of the museum, which will also provide a much needed heated space for volunteers and staff and a warm space for visitors to sit and have a cup of coffee.
Scottish Railway Preservation Society, Steaming Ahead - Level Crossing, £15,220
This second project will see the installation of a level crossing across the main railway line on the site, removing a significant barrier to entering the museum. Currently, access to the area of the site where the museum buildings are located is via a footbridge. For visitors who cannot traverse the footbridge it is currently necessary to take a far longer route around the site - approximately 500m, to access the museum buildings.
Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust, Signs of Success £14,550
This project will see the creation of new external signage on for the Scottish Fisheries Museum, as well as repainting the architectural features of the frontage of the listed buildings. These improvement will raise the on-street profile of the museum and hopefully increase visitor numbers.
Glasgow School Of Art, Mackcessibility: exploring digital display & digital loans, £57,166
The ‘Mackcessibility’ project will use photogrammetry to create digital reconstructions of items from their Mackintosh collection. The GSA hope to pioneer the idea of ‘digital loans’ allowing them to share their unique Mackintosh furniture with other museums and organisations across the world.
Glasgow Women's Library, Decoding Inequality, £28,322
Glasgow Women's Library will employ an Interpretation Coordinator to work with a selection of collections to develop a feminist interpretation. This will inform a new temporary exhibition as well as enhancing their collection records. The Coordinator will support GWL staff to develop their skills in equalities-led interpretation.
Gairloch Heritage Museum Trust, Museum Store Fit Out, £21,296
Gairloch Hetiage Museum is in the midst of a major HLF funded project to relocate the museum and its collections to a new building. MGS is funding the creation of a modern artefact store and library which will be accessible to the public and play an important role in enriching our visitors’ experiences.
Orkney & Shetland
Shetland Amenity Trust, Shetland Knitted Lace: Collection Assessment and Design Recording, £55,893
They will employ two knitted lace specialists and a collections assistant to undertake a review of their collection and enhance catalogue records. In the past 10 years increased public interest in the history, design and execution of Shetland knitted lace, and a doubling of the existing lace collection through significant donations, have made the collection an increasing priority for staff and visitors. This project will identify and digitise key objects as well as producing a pattern catalogue which wil be available for sale.
Pier Arts Centre Trust, Linkshouse Residency and Research Centre, £40,000
The Pier Arts Centre is embarking on an ambitious project to create a permanent facility for educational and creative residencies in Orkney. The new Linkshouse Residency and Research Centre will utilise a substantial building, recently inherited by the Pier Arts Centre, in the historic village of Palace, Birsay in the north-west corner of Orkney’s Mainland. The project will convert and refurbish Linkshouse to create an adaptable facility with studio provision for individual or group use.
University of Stirling, Making Our Collections Visible, £19,571
This project will improve the online presence of the University of Stirling’s Art Collection by providing access to their collections catalogue through a new web portal.