The Bowes Museum is thrilled by the continued support of Darlington Building Society.
The Bowes Museum is thrilled by the continued support of Darlington Building Society.

The Bowes Museum is thrilled by the continued support of Darlington Building Society.

The partnership will allow the Museum to expand its work in five key areas.

The Bowes Museum is delighted to announce the continuation of its successful partnership with the members of Darlington Building Society.  The partnership, formed in 2017, has gone from strength to strength and this year it is supporting the Museum in five key areas.


The Society is very excited to be the Museum’s exhibition partner for LEGO®: Building the Bowes Museum, which runs until 13 October.


The 2019 deal brings new elements to the association, which include the creation of the digital LEGO® giving campaign, which encourages visitors to the exhibition to donate by buying a virtual brick which is then projected onto the gallery wall to build a virtual version of The Bowes Museum.


It’s also allowed the production of a Smartify app tour, called “Leg it ‘round LEGO®”, which contains videos of Museum staff talking in more depth about the 18 items featured within the exhibition trail.


The Darly LEGO® train was a special commission as part of the LEGO® trail as it’s Darlington Building Society’s mascot and it tells the story of how John and Joséphine Bowes, the Museum’s founders, travelled across Europe amassing their collection.


To strengthen the partnership, the Society is again supporting the Museum’s accessibility programme, with this year’s funding bringing community groups from deprived areas in to enjoy the Museum’s exhibitions including: LEGO®:Building The Bowes Museum and Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants.


Alison Nicholson, The Museum’s Fundraising Officer, said: “We are extremely grateful to Darlington Building Society for this continued support as previous year’s accessibility programmes have proved transformational for the groups visiting.  It means that families who don’t have easy access to the arts or the opportunity to travel to heritage and cultural venues for a day out now have a chance to enjoy our exhibitions and special events.”


Heather Black, Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland’s Development Officer, said: “We are so pleased to be able to take advantage of the funding available to visit the Museum, many of our families don’t get to leave their home towns very often. So a day out together gives the children new experiences and the adults a chance to relax with a break from routine.  It’s really amazing the difference in people after they’ve visited, as the Museum’s environment really does help people forget the stresses of everyday life and everyone has a great day out.”

 The Society is also funding an education project with Corporation Road School in Darlington.

In March, Julia Dunn, the Museum's education coordinator, took Clara, the Museum’s white marble rhino sculpture, into the school and this funding will allow Years 1 to 4 to visit Clara in her home gallery at The Bowes Museum for the first time; before taking part in workshops exploring Canaletto’s painting of Venice, which Clara visited on her grand tour of Europe.


Caroline Darnbrook, Darlington Building Society’s Director of Products and Marketing, said: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with The Bowes Museum, it is a fantastic attraction that we are very proud to have on our doorstep. Thanks to our members, we are also able to ensure that those without easy access to the exhibition can visit and enjoy a day out through the accessibility programmes. Darlington Building Society staff members will also be volunteering at the accessibility programme days, strengthening our relationship with The Bowes Museum and our local community. We are also thrilled that Darly, our Society’s mascot, is featuring as part of the LEGO® trail!’


Members of Darlington Building Society can take advantage of a 2 for 1 admission offer for the duration of the LEGO®: Building The Bowes Museum exhibition.





Notes to editors:

 ·         The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes.  Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in.  The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods. 

  • The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a Major Portfolio Museum receives support from Arts Council England.
  • Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
  • The Bowes Museum has undergone major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation.

·         The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 03000 262626,

·       The Bowes Museum is a registered charity, number 1079639.



Categories: News

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!

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. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

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 Café 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.

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.