National Lottery Heritage Grant Awarded to Thackray Museum

Thackray Museum of Medicine announces today that The National Lottery Heritage Fund has generously awarded it a grant of £228,911, to continue its strategic development following a £4.6m re-development of the museum, of which the Heritage Fund was a major supporter.

The support could not be possible without the generosity and commitment of National Lottery players.

What is the grant awarded for?

The grant will begin a series of strategic interventions for the Museum which will propel it forward and build on the museum’s ambitions around best serving its communities and audiences, as well as developing its resilience and sustainability as Thackray continues to grow.

The project, made possible by National Lottery players, centres around the development of deeper relationships with visitors both old and new through a host of exciting new programming. Events planned include a season of Thackray Lates, adult-only events that are designed to explore unusual topics with the help of special guests, hands-on experiences, medical experiments, performances and more. There will also be a wide range of opportunities for families, building on the success of Thackray’s school holiday activity and popular under 5s role play space Sparks! All of this will be trialled alongside new strategic areas of work including in-depth conversations and research with visitors from across Yorkshire.  A gardening project with local volunteers will take influence from medical history and herbalism to transform Thackray’s grounds into a garden of well-being. This alongside new signage and lighting will transform the Museum’s welcome and its presence on the site of St James’ University Hospital.

It continues a long relationship between Thackray and the Heritage Fund – the Museum was the first project supported by the fund in the North of England shortly after it was launched. The National Lottery Heritage Fund went on to celebrate its 10th anniversary at the Museum and most recently contributed £1.5m towards the Museum’s transformational redevelopment project in 2019.

Edward Appleyard, Chief Executive, Thackray Museum of Medicine, comments:

‘We are delighted to receive this significant grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and to be working with them as partners and supporters once again. The re-development of Thackray was truly transformational – not only did it provide the Museum with new exhibitions and new public spaces, it enabled us to do it in partnership with over 220 participants from our local communities and to represent those people through real life story-telling across our displays. The museum needs to take best advantage of this drastic change – this latest support will enable us to do just that, and maximise all our opportunities, not just for Thackray but for the communities around us.’

Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: ‘We are delighted to support Thackray Museum of Medicine with this important resilience project. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, they can work to strengthen their offering, build relationships with new audiences, and share the fascinating story of medical innovation in new ways. This project is a prime example of how we can support heritage organisations in building a long and sustainable future.’

An image from Sable’s Culture Club late event at Thackray Museum.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

As the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s vision is for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future as set out in our strategic plan, Heritage 2033.  

Over the next ten years, the Heritage Fund aims to invest £3.6billion raised for good causes by National Lottery players to bring about benefits for people, places and the natural environment.   

The Heritage Fund helps protect, transform and share the things from the past that people care about, from popular museums and historic places, our natural environment and fragile species, to the languages and cultural traditions that celebrate who we are.  

The Heritage Fund is passionate about heritage and committed to driving innovation and collaboration to make a positive difference to people’s lives today, while leaving a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.