ripon museum

Ripon Museums to inspire a fairer future

Ripon Museum Trust takes first step towards ‘Inspiration for a Fairer Future’ project, following grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

A transformative project at Ripon Museum Trust is to progress following a successful first round funding application to The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF).

Based in the heart of the cathedral city of Ripon, the Trust runs three museums, a Workhouse, Courthouse, and Prison and Police Museum. The ‘Inspiration for a Fairer Future’ project will enable the stories of poverty, law, crime, punishment and justice to be explored by a wider more diverse audience whilst also carrying out essential works to the Grade II listed Victorian Workhouse, safeguarding this important building for the future.

The project will create a more cohesive story across all three museums through giving access to more historic spaces, improving orientation and creating new digital and on-site interpretation. A new lift will be installed in the Workhouse to allow access to the upper floor for the first time, opening up the dormitories and providing new meeting spaces for community groups, schools and researchers. Working with the community is at the forefront of the project and the Trust will be inviting groups to co-create exhibitions showcasing their own responses to the sometimes-challenging history of the museums and the people that lived and worked in it. There will be new facilities for school groups and other learners as well as new community spaces.

Development funding of £99,396 has been awarded to help Ripon Museum Trust to progress their plans. This initial support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund will be used to hire project staff and undertake community consultation to ensure the project reflects the needs of the people it seeks to engage, inspire and support. Work will begin in spring 2022 which will inform a larger proposal for £1.7 million, to be submitted to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for consideration in 2023. A fundraising campaign will now begin in earnest to secure match funding for the project.

Helen Thornton, Director at Ripon Museums says:

We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. Our long-term vision for the three museums in our care can now begin to be realised. This grant will significantly increase the opportunities for people to get involved here – after reflecting upon our history and themes we hope to inspire people to seek a fairer society.


Richard Taylor, Chair of Trustees added:

We were able to purchase the workhouse complex in 2016 due to a significant grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to their ongoing support we can safeguard an important listed building for the future and link up all the fascinating powerful and personal stories we have from the Workhouse, the Prison and Police Museum and the Courthouse Museum.

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