Earlier this year, Royston Museum Trust CIO was formed. The Trust is an independent charity established to take over ownership and management of Royston Museum.
The Trust is overseen by a board of trustees, made up of members of the community, members of the local History Society, local councillors and museum professionals. On the ground, the daily operations and development of the museum are entrusted to the Museum Manager, Nicky Paton, who took up post in March, while the exhibitions and Collection are cared for by the Curator, Sophie Riches, who joined in April. Plus, a loyal group of volunteers will help research and archive the Collection, and welcome visitors on open days.
Royston Town Council are committed to the museum’s success and continue to support the museum with vital core funding, but the scale of the museum’s success, facilities and reach will be reliant on visitor donations, community grants and external funding.
We have now begun a full scale redevelopment of the museum, split into phases, in which its facilities and function will be overhauled and rebuilt from the ground up. We've highlighted the key parts of each phase below.
The priority for Phase 1 was to reopen the museum as soon as we could. After two years of closure, it was important for us to welcome visitors back and re-establish the museum within our wonderful community. To do this, we focused our efforts on; setting up museum operations under the Trust; making improvements to the building’s infrastructure and presentation of the main gallery, embracing a brighter and contemporary open plan design; and curating fresh, engaging exhibitions which tell real stories of the real people and communities who have contributed to Royston’s heritage.
We are very pleased and proud that, as of Friday 10th June 2022, following an exhausting couple of months and an extreme amount of black coffee, our doors are open to the public once more. We are indebted to our extremely generous and determined team of volunteers who worked day and night to make this happen.
Phase 2 will commence shortly to develop the rest of the building; transforming the upstairs rooms into new community and activity spaces, improving our toilet facilities and re-establishing the museum shop, which we hope will become a destination in its own right.
We’ll also continue to expand, edit and refine the experience and services that the museum offers. Soon, an extensive schedule of events, talks, activities and workshops will be launched to form the basis of a transformative enrichment programme; a thriving cycle of art, history, language, literature and music that will establish Royston Museum as a centre of arts and education.
The Collection with be systematically condition-checked, photographed and properly archived, to improve our understanding of the artefacts in our care and better facilitate research, events and temporary exhibitions.
Phase 3 will aim to tackle the larger issues affecting Royston Museum; namely access, storage and expansion. These areas will require funding from national organisations such as Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim here is to install infrastructure such as a lift, for step-free access to the first floor; accessible toilets; a searchable public indexing system; a museum-grade storage and conservation facility; and the modernisation of its utilities, to improve the environmental sustainability of the building.
Long term, our vision is to make the museum the cultural hub of Royston; a contemporary, multi-functional space in which our town can learn, co-work, socialise and create. New facilities, new function and new design will aim to revive the site as a cultural destination; include and engage broader demographics; and make heritage, culture and opportunity more accessible than ever.
To fully realise this potential will take a lot of energy and investment, and its success will be reliant on the support of you - our community. So, if you’d like to volunteer or make a donation, please get in touch.
We look forward to welcoming you back with open arms and a big smile soon. As Royston's town motto says, ‘A bonis ad meliora’. ‘From good things to better.’
01763 242 587