NORFOLK Museums Service
Purchasing Tickets

A Major Partner Museum

This is an image


Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service: A Major Partner Museum

NMAS is one of only sixteen Major Partner Museums funded directly by Arts Council England.

NMAS gratefully acknowledges this important support which is worth just under £4m for the three year period 2012-15.

What is a Major Partner Museum?

Since 2002, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has invested in museums and archives through the Renaissance funding programme. Renaissance achieved a great deal – raising standards in museums across England, increasing visitor numbers and helping museums become fit for the 21st century.

NMAS was lead partner of the East of England Museum Hub, a group of the four largest museum services in the region, through which the regional Renaissance programme was delivered.

Following the abolition of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) which had overseen the scheme, Renaissance was re-structured, with the Arts Council assuming responsibility for museum development in 2011. For the first time Renaissance grants were awarded for a three year period via an open application system against published criteria.

The successful museums were accorded Major Partner Museum status. The awards were made in the context of Arts Council England’s strategic goals set out in Culture, Knowledge and Understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone.

NMAS is delighted that the service’s outstanding collections and track record of delivering great experiences for visitors has been rewarded by this sustained investment.

For more information go to:

Who benefits from Major Partner Museum funding?

Together with vital support from Norfolk County Council and other local authorities in the county, the Major Partner Museum funding means the service can continue to be ambitious and outward-looking.

Our successful bid to the Arts Council combined an emphasis on public benefit with the aim of making the service as efficient and resilient as possible. Key elements include:

    Major exhibitions: Including a new display for Norwich Castle Keep, Gateway to Medieval England with loans from the British Museum, and a major exhibition on The Wonder of Birds

    Digital services: Development of web resources and effective use of social media to engage virtual audiences

    Development of commercial activities: Activities to increase earned income including improvements to retail, catering and venue hire

    The Teaching Museum: A service-wide initiative to establish NMAS as the country’s first teaching museum with the aim of developing a workforce for the future

    Youth engagement: The development of more opportunities for young people to actively engage with our museums, including devising and delivering events.

What is Major Partner Museum funding delivering?

For more information on how Arts Council funding is enabling the service to improve delivery and engage more people, click on the single page case studies in the section below. For a more in-depth overview, click on the Curator and Learning Reports for 2012-13.

Curator Report 2012-13

Learning Report 2012-13


Loans from the collections
The Olive Edis Collection

Titian exhibition: Diana and Actaeon


The Bridewell history wall
Cromer museum – engaging audiences through social media

Great Yarmouth experience days


Rationalisation of the Costume and Textile Collection

Leadership and workforce:

SHARE volunteer programme 2011-12
Skills for the future: Trainee and apprenticeships programme

Children and Young People:

Art + Play: An exhibition of contemporary art for young visitors and their grown-ups
Arts Award in a museum setting

Norfolk’s American Connections: An exhibition produced by young people

Muddy Museum Cafe

Project 18: An intergenerational oral history project

Skin: Young people’s event

Stories of the World: Involving young people in co-creation

Storming the Castle: An award-winning maths session for secondary schools

Victorian activity day: An award-winning session for primary schools