Arts Council grant to benefit museum

Arts Council grant means museum will benefit from £71,688 worth of improvements and repairs

Last updated: 29 April 2022

An Arts Council England grant means The Museum of Cannock Chase is to benefit from more than £71,600 worth of improvements and repairs.

The museum, which we manage on behalf of the site’s owners, Cannock Chase District Council, offers free admission and tells the fascinating story of Cannock Chase, from its industrial beginnings to its military role, notable local citizens, social history, domestic life and wildlife.

The Arts Council England grant of £71,688 has been allocated from its Museums Estate and Development (MEND) fund. The purpose of the MEND fund is to support non-national accredited museums and local authorities based in England to undertake vital infrastructure and urgent maintenance backlogs normally beyond the scope of day-to-day maintenance budgets. 

Our Museum Service Manager, Lee Bellingham, says: “Securing funding from the MEND fund will have a huge impact, enabling us to make significant and far-reaching improvements to our site; safeguarding it for the future and vastly improving the experience of visitors, staff and volunteers, as well as making sure that we can provide the best possible care for our collections. We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to do these vital works.”

The joint bid by Cannock Chase District Council and ourselves means the money is available to:

  • Replace heating systems in outbuildings and large object store

  • Install a new building management system

  • Resurface the museum’s front drive

  • Repair the entrance to the Lamp Room activity space, including an access ramp and surrounding brickwork

  • Replace all remaining fluorescent lights with LED alternatives

  • Install bollards and signage at Weighbridge to protect and preserve this artefact

  • Reseal and repaint the winding wheel 

  • Replace guttering

This financial boost is another reason for our museum staff to celebrate after it became one of only two West Midlands tourist attractions to be awarded a highly-prestigious national accolade for its very warm welcome and outstanding customer service.

It has been awarded a sought-after VisitEngland ‘Welcome’ Accolade after an annual ‘mystery visitor’ inspection and follow-up interview - known as the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme assessment - by the national tourism agency.

The museum is a multi-generational focal point for Cannock Chase’s fascinating heritage and history. It is the only West Midlands attraction to be given the Welcome Accolade alongside Ford Green Hall in Stoke-on-Trent.

Eleven other regional attractions, including Cadbury World, the National Memorial Arboretum and Trentham Monkey Forest, received VisitEngland’s other Visitor Attraction Accolades including the categories of ‘Best Story Told’, ‘Hidden Gem’ and ‘Quality Food & Drink’.