The Boat Hall is the beating heart of the Museum. This is where we showcase the national small boat collection and celebrate the sea, boats and Cornwall. It is our first, central and biggest gallery and it shapes the visitor experience, orientating and connecting everyone with all our other wonderful spaces and stories.

This project will transform the way in which we display and interpret the National Small Boat Collection. It will allow us to reimagine our principal gallery, reinvigorate our use of space, improve wayfinding, celebrate the architecture of our amazing building and help us to reduce our environmental footprint. It will also allow us to create an adaptable space which we can easily transform from a gallery to an events space, helping make the Museum more financially resilient.

The project is expected to be completed by March 2024.

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said:

The DCMS/Wolfson Fund aims to make sure more people can access our brilliant museums and galleries right across the county. Thanks to this combination of public funding and private philanthropy, these awards will help people who may have previously found visiting museums and galleries difficult and make sure everyone can enjoy and engage with the wonderful collections and exhibitions they offer. With 80 percent of the money going to museums outside the capital, this funding is further evidence of the Government’s commitment to levelling up and widening access to culture.

Richard Doughty, Director of National Maritime Museum Cornwall said:

We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant. In recent years we have been very focused on mounting exciting temporary exhibitions. This project will enable us to invest in our permanent public offer. The timing is perfect because the Museum will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023, so now is the ideal time for us to make improvements to this awe-inspiring space.