The Royal Cornwall Museum is now closed to general visitors until September 2020. This period of time will be used to reboot the public programme, modernize how the museum is run and allow for critical roof repairs.
Low visitor numbers and a challenging funding climate mean that the operation of the museum needs a new approach. The closure also offers the opportunity for a complete overhaul of the aging roof. Serious leaks are now threatening to bring down a wall and damage several exhibits. £100,000 worth of repairs is urgently required to safeguard the collections. A contractor will be appointed in the New Year. The RCM will take this opportunity to consult with communities across Cornwall on a new vision for the Museum and how it can better serve their needs.
Julie Seyler, the Chair of the Museum Board, said today: “RCM has served the people of Cornwall for over 200 years and played a leading role in protecting and safeguarding Cornish history, culture and achievement. This is a role it will continue to play in the future, but as with any organisation we need to invest in our building and reset our vision for the future. This is essential as we set a course for the next 100 years.
Alan Wallace, the Museum Director added: “While we must carry out our responsibilities to the building and our valuable collections, our main concern today is for the 8 people who, through no fault of their own will be made redundant. The museum that reopens its doors in September will be different, following a consultation to understand and meet the changing needs of visitors and to sustain the service for the future.
Whilst the roof is being repaired there will be a Cornwall wide consultation to shape the future of the museum. Also, during this time, areas that will not be affected by the repair works will stay open, by appointment. For example, the library will continue to be available for the large number of people who use it for research and for weekly school visits to give local children exclusive access to the historic treasures we house.
For more information, or interviews, contact Julie Seyler and Alan Wallace on 01872 272205
This partial museum closure does not affect the wider work of the RIC, and we will continue to deliver our popular lecture series and publish our annual journal.