Colchester and Ipswich Museums secure £87k grant

Sophie Stevens, collections and learning curator (Colchester) at Colchester and Ipswich Museums, and

Sophie Stevens, collections and learning curator (Colchester) at Colchester and Ipswich Museums, and Colchester councillor Tim Young with specimens from the Natural History Museum collection Picture: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

A project run by Colchester and Ipswich Museums has been given a boost thanks to an £87,000 grant.

A successful bid was made to the John Ellerman Foundation to support the Evolving our Natural Science (EONS) project, which aims to raise awareness of the important natural science collections in both towns, and enable visitors to learn more about their local wildlife.

The cash will fund a new assistant collections and learning curator post for three years. From this autumn, the successful candidate will work alongside two natural science specialists to help raise awareness and understanding of four nationally significant collections from the towns’ Museums: British molluscs and diptera (flies) in Colchester and fossils known as boxstones and the Victorian taxidermy bird collection in Ipswich.

Councillor Tim Young, portfolio holder for business and culture at Colchester Borough Council, said: “With this very welcome funding we gain a fantastic opportunity to expand our knowledge of our local wildlife heritage and share that greater understanding with the public. We look forward to bringing a new member of the team on board to help us better understand and showcase the fascinating collections held in our museums.”

The work will also explore the significance of changes to natural habitat and climate revealed through study of the collections.

Councillor Carole Jones, portfolio holder for museums and planning at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “This funding will help the museums to ensure that the significance of the collections are understood and appreciated for a new generation of museum visitors who are fascinated with the natural world. I’d like to thank our museum staff for their success in getting this very substantial sum to support the work of our museums.”