Detail of lace sleeve of wedding dress designed by Lucile

Since 2005 significant improvements have been made to The Bowes Museum. Its roof has been fully renewed making the building watertight; the ground floor has been totally renovated, providing introductory galleries, an enlarged café and gift shop and a new reception area; new galleries have been created on the 1st and 2nd floors; and a new paintings store, library and reading room have been built; a gallery devoted to English Interiors 1500 - 1900, and a redeveloped park. Supporters have included:

Heritage Lottery Fund

One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership

English Heritage

Northern Rock Foundation

The Monument Trust

The Foyle Foundation

DCMS / Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund

Garfield Weston Foundation

European Regional Development Fund

Designation Challenge Fund

Durham County Council

The Shears Foundation

County Durham Foundation

The Friends of The Bowes Museum

The Headley Trust

The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust

Sir James Knott Trust

Mercers Charitable Foundation

Welton Foundation

Idlewild Trust

Margaret Phyllis Mewhort Trust

Fenwick Ltd

P T Settlement

The Bill & May Hodgson Charitable Trust administered by Dickinson Dees