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Museum celebrates grant success!

Published on Friday, 29th June 2018

george eliots childhood home

Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery is celebrating a £119,711 grant bid from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.

The fund will be used for an 18 month project which will incorporate work on three internationally important collections related to the writer George Eliot, and the people of Nuneaton and Coventry who influenced her. The collections are held by Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery, Warwickshire Libraries and The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry, who worked in partnership to secure the bid.

Councillor Ian Lloyd, Portfolio Holder for Arts and Leisure said:

"I am delighted with the success of the Museum in attracting this funding. The work will help to put our Eliot Collections and the Borough on the map whilst providing new opportunities for local people to get involved.

“I look forward to seeing the progress of the museum projects and those of our partners in marking George Eliot’s bicentenary.”

2019 marks the 200 year anniversary of the writer’s birth in Nuneaton. Born Mary Ann Evans, she spent her formative years in the Borough, where her intellectual development took place.

The bid came about through a close working partnership between the three partnership organisations, and being one of only five successful applicants, the Museum performed exceptionally well to secure the largest grant award in the highly competitive process.

The funding will enable a new website and trail to be set up, as well the appointment of a project officer who will lead fresh research into the collections.  These initiatives along with a new provision of activities will help to attract more visitors across the three organisations. Projects incorporating storytelling, singing and sewing are just some of the new and innovative ways that attendees will be able to find out about Eliot and her life.

Catherine Nisbet, Nuneaton Museum & Arts Officer is hoping that the measures will help people to get involved in Eliot’s story, she said:

“The timing is perfect – the bicentenary of her birth and the run up to the Coventry City of Culture in 2021 this an ideal time to develop the use of these internationally important collections and bring George Eliot’s story to a wider audience.

“We believe that her radical life and the choices she made revealed through our collections can speak to local people, reflecting modern concerns and experiences.”