Museum Delighted To Reach £1m Fundraising Target

Museum Delighted To Reach £1m Fundraising Target

The Bowes Museum is delighted to announce its success in reaching a £1m fundraising target within the final month of a four year campaign.

The campaign was launched in summer 2012, following a successful award of £1m under the Catalyst Endowments programme; a joint enterprise between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and Arts Council England (ACE). 

Tailored to bring fresh money into the cultural sector, the programme pledged pound-for-pound match funding for donations made to The Bowes Museum Catalyst Endowment Fund, with the Museum required to raise £1m by the end of June 2016 to profit from the full amount of the award. 

Contributions poured in from far and wide, including Australia, in both large and modest amounts, from more than 800 individual donors, including 300 spontaneous donations from visitors. The success of the campaign means the Museum now has a total fund of £2m to be invested and provide annual income in perpetuity. The revenue generated from the fund will be used to advance the public’s knowledge and understanding of art, craft, design and history by underpinning the Museum’s activities, in particular long term curatorial, conservation and educational activities, along with the exhibition programme.

Adrian Jenkins, the Museum Director, said: “The Bowes Museum is extremely pleased to have reached its £1m milestone. We extend our appreciation to the many supporters whose donations contributed to our reaching the target within the allotted timeframe. In addition, we pay tribute to the Museum Friends, who in turn matched the generous pledge of a long term supporter of the Museum.”

Whilst the four-year period of match funding is now at an end, The Bowes Museum’s intention is to continue to build the Endowment Fund with further donations and legacy bequests with the aim of reaching the level of endowment that its founder, John Bowes, originally intended. To find out more about The Bowes Museum Catalyst Endowment Fund please email>
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The Bowes Museum is closed!


Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Caf� Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

Do please remember, however, that the Museum�s park and grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 � 4.00 daily, and that we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, clues can be found here.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.