Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Here at Cambridge Museum of Technology, we believe that museums have an important role to play in creating a sense of community and enriching the lives of local people through our collections and activities. We help our local communities to explore, enjoy, and learn about their industrial heritage by celebrating the achievements of local industries and the people who worked in them. Our exhibits range from powerful 19th-century steam engines to innovative scientific instruments invented and made in Cambridge during the 20th century. The Museum was founded by a group of local people in the 1960s and continues to maintain strong links to Cambridge residents through the work of our large team of volunteers, supported by two staff.

We have developed a project that will transform the Museum to meet the needs of our users in the 21st century - and we have won funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards it. The project will help us to improve visitor facilities and disabled access, repair the historic boiler system so that we can run the steam engines, produce new displays on local industries and technology, and create a new space for learning and meetings. We will also deliver a wide-ranging programme of events, learning activities, and community outreach delivered by new staff including a Community Engagement Coordinator and an Education Officer.

The Lottery does not provide all of the funding needed to make this project happen, so we are asking the Aviva Community Fund to support the Community Engagement Coordinator post. This person will work to create links and foster relationships with local residents and community groups. They will also develop our volunteering programme to give as many people as possible the chance to get involved in running their local museum.

A significant element of the redevelopment project is to make sure that the museum appeals to different groups with different needs and interests. Our research has showed that women, young people, minority groups, and residents in our immediate vicinity (Abbey Ward) are all under-represented amongst our visitors and volunteers. The Community Engagement Coordinator will ensure greater representation and participation from these groups and make the museum more inclusive. This will benefit individuals and communities by providing a place where experiences and memories can be shared. The volunteering programme will also provide social experiences, the opportunity to learn skills or use existing ones, and the satisfaction of helping the Museum.

Once the redevelopment project is complete and the Museum has reopened, we hope that the site will generate enough income to maintain this post. However, the Aviva Community Fund would finance the Community Engagement Coordinator for one year from early 2018, before the Museum is open and bringing in income. This will allow us get this important engagement work off the ground, and have consulted and built relationships with our communities before the Museum reopens.

Please support the Museum’s development as a vibrant centre and resource for the local community, providing a range of experiences, events, activities and facilities for everyone.

Photos courtesy of Alan Denney, Terry Hanby, Glen Slater, and Dylan Nolte.

Cambridge Museum of Technology

Moment of Pride

We are proud of the amazing commitment of our volunteers who have allowed the museum to grow steadily for almost 50 years. We are excited about this project as it will help us to transform ourselves through greater involvement with our local communities and make us ready for the next 50 years!

Location: Cambridge