Royal Cornwall Museum announces temporary closure

Closure will enable roof repairs and strategy rethink

The Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro

The Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro (Photo: Tim Green, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Annette McGill

The Royal Cornwall Museum in Turo is to close for eight months from 12 January.  

During the closure, the museum will undertake urgent roof repairs costing some £100,000, as well as wider modernisation work. The museum says its ageing roof has developed serious leaks which are threatening exhibits. A contractor will be appointed in early 2020. 

Announcing the move, the Trustee Board also highlighted a funding crisis, saying  low visitor numbers and a challenging funding climate meant that the museum needs “a new approach”.

The museum is an independent charity that receives grant funding from the local council and bodies such as Arts Council England. 

A museum statement said:  “As an Independent charity, we need to raise most of the money to look after the collections, building and staff from outside sources such as visitors paying to come in. We are not alone, the issue of underfunding is the same for many regional museums, who like us have important collections to care for in historic buildings that cost significant sums to run and maintain.”

 Eight staff will be made redundant as a result of the closure. Five staff have been retained to look after the museum and to begin the change process.

The museum was set up to promote Cornish heritage, industry and culture. The Grade II listed granite-fronted building was built in 1845. It also houses the Courtney Library and Archive, which holds a valuable collection of Cornish language manuscripts. The Archive will remain open for researchers by appointment.