New year brings new funding for Lewis museum

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Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) has announced 18 projects in 17 different museums set to benefit from a share of over £700k of funding.

The projects are being funded through the Museum Development Fund, which has been boosted by an additional £200k of capital funding from the Scottish Government.

The investment will support a wide range of projects in museums across the country, from restoring locomotives in Newtongrange to a collaborative digital exhibition for Orkney and Shetland.

Comunn Eachdraidh Nis (CEN) in Lewis has been awarded funding for not one but two capital projects, both relating to refurbishment of the former Cross schoolhouse and canteen.

CEN has been awarded £40,000 for the creation of a new museum store, a conservation workshop, and space for visitors to the store.

Thanks to the additional funding made available by the Scottish Government, they will also receive a further £40,000 to create a study area and workspace for the archive, an office space for museum staff, and offices for rent to bring in income.

Annie Macsween, chairperson of CEN, said: “The refurbishment of these buildings has been a goal of CEN since the organisation relocated to the former Cross Primary School in 2011.

“This grant from MGS will make this goal a reality and create further opportunities for volunteering as well as providing enhanced facilities for school children, students and visitors from all over the world.”

Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “MGS is pleased to be strengthening the resilience and long term sustainability of the Scottish museums sector by supporting such a diverse range of projects.

“This was a particularly strong round of applications, and the additional £200,000 from the Scottish Government enabled MGS to fund five capital projects that we would otherwise have been unable to support.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland has a rich cultural heritage and our many wonderful museums play a vital role in telling that story.

“That’s why the Scottish Government has supported Museums Galleries Scotland’s Museum Development Fund with an additional £200,000 of capital funding.

“These projects are all great examples of the tremendous work which museums do up and down Scotland, and I’m sure they will give great pleasure to visitors.”

Through the Museum Development Fund, MGS distributes a general funding grant from the Scottish Government as well as the ring fenced grants for capital projects and for Scotland’s Recognised Collections.