New Year, New Start, New Museum!
Exciting plans are afoot to open a new independent and community-run 'Knaresborough Museum' in 2021 - and we now need the help of our local community to help make the vision a reality.
Knaresborough Museum Association (KMA) - a small group of local volunteers - are in the process of negotiating a lease for the ground floor of the former Castle Girls’ School in Castle Yard, Knaresborough. The vision is to create an impressive new heritage site celebrating the history of Knaresborough including the town’s amazing geology, archaeology and social history.
The plans include exhibits and displays on how Nidd Gorge was formed, the town’s early history, the story of how children’s education has evolved in Knaresborough as well as covering industry, health and housing and World War Two, among other things.
Creating a thrilling museum experience.
The Museum will be more than a few artefacts and display boards. Immersive sound effects, oral histories and film footage will make for exciting and interactive installations that allow local people’s stories to be at the heart of the museum. KMA also plan to create a flexible temporary exhibition space where community groups and KMA can display art, photography, historical documents and artefacts – so that there will be a rolling programme of events to encourage return visits.
Amongst our social history displays will be 'The Memories Project' - a collection of stories and photos from Knaresborough residents recalling life in the 1930s to the mid 1950s.
Education will lie at the heart of the Museum and as part of its provision there are plans to create a flexible education facility where local schools and community groups can access learning through artefact and archive handling, IT resources and media presentations.
As well as being a heritage gem the community will be proud of, the museum will contribute to the Knaresborough's wider tourism and footfall strategy and will add further value to the visitor appeal of the town.
The longer term vision is ambitious and impressive, and would likely require significant funding via Heritage Lottery Fund or similar. If we can build robust foundations now, we will continue to develop this superb facility.
Making this happen.
Knaresborough Museum’s success will be assured if enough local people and businesses back the venture. This crowdfunder will help us to secure sufficient funds to make this project happen. With an overall initial fundraising target of £40,000 the money will be put towards:
- Designing and creating a series of exciting exhibition spaces in the museum to tell the story of Knaresborough from earliest times to the present day, using a variety of interpretative techniques and key historical artefacts
- Commissioning audio visual material, including films; purchasing exhibition cases and designing interpretative display panels
- Refurbishing rooms in the museum and installing lighting and security systems. Improving visitor facilities including a small reception area and museum shop and upgrading visitor toilets. A small office for staff and secure storage for exhibits and interpretative materials will also be created
- Creating a flexible educational facility for use by schools and community groups
- Upgrading and improving visitor access to the building to meet modern standards
- Undertaking the necessary building condition checks and securing necessary consents, legal documentation and establishing the museum as a charity
We're off to a great start!
Our fundraising has been given a huge boost from Sir Graham Hall. Sir Graham has always championed industry in Yorkshire and was the first Chairman of Yorkshire Forward. Sir Graham and Lady Hall are both very supportive of the Museum project and have generously donated £5,000 to kick start the Museum’s fundraising campaign. Sir Graham stated:
“The Knaresborough Museum initiative is a tremendous example of a community based project and will undoubtedly make a significant difference for all the stakeholders in our wonderful town. I wholeheartedly support their project and wish them every success”
Kathy Allday, Chair of Knaresborough Museum Association (KMA) is feeling optimistic about the Museum’s plans: “After all the depressing news in 2020, I feel Knaresborough is going to have a great year this year and what could be better than establishing a new museum that celebrates the town and its people?”.
Please consider supporting this project if you are able - all donations, however small, are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
PLEASE NOTE: THOSE WISHING TO DISCUSS MAJOR DONATIONS AND/ OR SPONSORSHIP SHOULD CONTACT INFO@KNARESBOROUGHTOWNMUSEUM.ORG