Council secures £440,579 to enable the development of a new museum and cultural centre on St Mary’s

UK Government logo and Council of the Isles of Scilly logo

We are pleased to announce that the Isles of Scilly will receive £440,579 of government funding to progress proposals for a new museum and cultural centre. 

The funding is the result of a successful bid to the UK Community Renewal Fund which aims to assist communities in their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and improve everyday life across the UK. The Council was identified as the Lead Authority with responsibility for inviting and submitting bids from the community. 
The Council received a single bid which came from the Islands’ Partnership setting out their desire to produce a fully costed and designed plan for a new museum and cultural centre. This bid was endorsed by councillors and submitted to government. The £440,579 includes £47,909 match funding from the Council. Development of the plans will involve further consultation with the community and planning permission. 
Councillor Steve Sims, Lead Member for Economy, Tourism & Transport, said: "I am delighted to hear that this bid has been successful, against the odds! The islands were identified as a Priority 2 area for this funding pot, putting us at an apparent disadvantage compared to the Priority 1 areas, so this news is a very welcome surprise. The need for a new cultural and community space on St Mary’s has been made increasingly apparent since the Town Hall became unusable for these purposes, and I know many in the community are keen to see the space redeveloped and in use again. A new cultural facility which also enables the museum association to prosper will bring substantial benefit to our community after a difficult couple of years.” 
Nick Bond, Executive Director of the Islands’ Partnership, said: “The study undertaken by David Clarke & Associates earlier this year into the feasibility and preferred site for a new museum and cultural centre for the Isles of Scilly really concentrated the project partners’ collective ambition. It’s very exciting indeed that the revenue for the next phase of community consultation, business planning and development – which will take us to readiness for construction - has been approved by the government.” 
Kate Hale, Curator/Manager of Isles of Scilly Museum, said: “This is fantastic news which bodes well for the future. Thank you to everyone who helped put the bid together. We look forward to working with the Council and the Islands' Partnership to progress the project.” 


The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit


Publishing date: 
Thursday, 25 November, 2021