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Mission and vision

Who we are

Norfolk Museums Service (NMS) was established in 1974 when Norfolk’s County and District councils agreed to delegate their authority for museums to a Joint Museums Committee and create a countywide museums service.

NMS is made up of 10 museum sites across Norfolk:

The service also operates the Norwich Castle Study Centre, and a collections centre based at Gressenhall.

In 2018, NMS was recognised by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO), and awarded £4,812,680 in direct funding between 2018 and 2022.  

Find out more about our NPO status

Through operating as a joint service, NMS is able to provide central expertise in conservation, design, technical and collections management matters to its sites. The countywide nature of the service provides an additional benefit to visitors through the availability of the Norfolk Museums Pass, which allows passholders unlimited access to NMS sites for 12 months from purchase (subject to seasonal opening at some sites).


  • Inspiring pride in Norfolk’s heritage through 10 award-winning museums


  • Engaging and inspiring the widest possible audience, both across Norfolk and beyond
  • Enriching people’s lives and creating a sense of place and identity
  • Ensuring all Norfolk residents, especially children, experience high-quality learning in the museums we care for and through the collections in our trust
  • Contributing significantly to the visitor economy of Norfolk and contributing to the development of sustainable tourism partnerships
  • Developing our staff and volunteers to improve services and support wider employment and skills agendas
  • Collecting, preserving and interpreting the material evidence of Norfolk’s past
  • Stimulating creativity, inspiration and enjoyment through the museums and collections in our care


  • We are committed to caring for Norfolk’s rich heritage, both for future generations and for our communities and visitors today
  • We are passionate about learning and fostering skills and knowledge amongst Norfolk’s children
  • We provide leadership to other museums across Norfolk and the East of England, along with support to other cultural, educational and heritage organisations
  • We value and invest in our staff, trainees and volunteers so that they can deliver an outstanding service to our communities and to our visitors
  • We are accountable and credible in the work we do and we are open to challenge and advice
  • We are dedicated to the long-term care of the collections and historic buildings in our trust
  • We will work in partnership to achieve our mission and we will ensure that we are a trustworthy and dedicated partner to others
  • We will operate in a highly sustainable way, minimising our impact on the environment
  • We will encourage innovation and commercial awareness across all parts of our organisation

Read our 2017-18 Annual Review