An internationally-important Cumbrian museum and visitor attraction has been chosen to take part in an innovative new programme – funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund – to bring culture and heritage to life across the North of England.

The latest phase of Creative United’s Prosper North programme is geared directly to post-lockdown recovery, providing free, tailored business support for specially selected cultural heritage organisations in the North. It has now been confirmed that Senhouse Roman Museum in Maryport will be one of 33 organisations to benefit over the next six months.

The museum is Britain’s oldest private collection of Roman treasures and only reopened in August, after shutting its doors in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The news will give volunteers and staff access to an intensive programme of mentoring and 1-2-1 support from a network of specialist cultural and heritage specialist business advisors, to help them innovate and re-shape the way they run on a day-to-day basis.

With the current pandemic having a major impact on the arts and cultural sector across Cumbria, museum bosses say the timing couldn’t be better.

Manager of the Senhouse Roman Museum, Jane Laskey, comments, “In challenging times, this is a fantastic opportunity for both our staff and loyal volunteers to get specialist advice, guidance and practical skills to help us develop our business strategies and become more resilient for the future.

 “I believe that not only our Museum, but culture and heritage in its broadest sense, has an important role to play in the recovery from COVID-19, by bringing local communities together, supporting education and learning, and inspiring positivity and mental wellbeing. Now is the perfect time to make the most of this practical new opportunity to think long-term about how we safeguard and promote some of our uniquely Cumbrian stories and heritage.”

The Prosper North programme at Senhouse Roman Museum will get underway in the coming days, with the attraction open as usual for visitors from 11am to 5pm daily during October half term.

The project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will be delivered by entrepreneurial community interest company Creative United in partnership with Key Fund, Bates Wells and Social Investment Business.

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