National Museums Liverpool (NML) has been awarded £300,000 to invest in cutting-edge equipment to develop its research facilities and deliver more memorable museum experiences for its visitors.
The funding from the UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) award forms part of a landmark £15m Capability for Collections investment in the arts and humanities.
Based at World Museum and the Conservation Centre, the equipment will boost NML’s capacity for research as well as technological development of innovative new experiences in its museums and galleries.
Sandra Penketh, Executive Director of Galleries & Collections Care at NML, said: “As a national museum, we take our responsibility for capacity building very seriously and this boost to our collections care and research will help us deliver on our ambition to be a leader for cultural growth in the city region and the wider North of England.
From sharing hidden microscopic details uncovered in the conservation of Walter Sickert’s drawings to creating the first biobank for genetic samples of our outstanding zoology collections, the funding will provide us with state-of-the-art equipment and essential facilities for the analysis and microscopic imaging of our collections.
“The equipment will also strengthen our ability to provide vital access to analytical facilities to smaller museums and heritage organisations and open doors for stronger collaborations with academic institutions to undertake research on our collections.”
Professor Christopher Smith, Executive Chair of AHRC added: “Galleries, libraries, archives and museums are the bedrock of our culture and heritage economy, anchoring us to our past and pointing to innovation to safeguard our future. As these institutions are increasingly vulnerable, it is essential that we invest in the research facilities that drive their success.
“This is an unprecedented investment in collections organisations and has the potential to transform the heritage sector’s ability to generate research and create marketable products such as the immersive digital experiences. Historically, these back-of-house spaces have severely lacked secure funding but with this investment, we can ensure the future of some of the UK’s most valuable cultural and historical assets.”
The fund is part of UKRI’s wider investment programme of £213 million to expand and upgrade existing research infrastructure. The funded projects will provide UK researchers with advanced equipment, facilities and technology, and with the aim of maintaining the UK’s position as a leader in research and innovation.