The Bowes Museum > Join & Support > How Your Support Helps

How Your Support Helps


It is sometimes forgotten that The Bowes Museum is a charity and that it relies on funding and donations in order to continue caring for the collections, building and grounds as well as striving to display rich and diverse exhibition and education programmes.

The Charity’s objectives are to advance the public’s education and enjoyment of art, craft, design and history, in particular, but not exclusively, by acquiring, operating, and maintaining The Bowes Museum, its collections and associated grounds at Barnard Castle, County Durham. Over the last five years the trustees and staff have carried out a wide range of developments, including capital projects (significantly funded by Heritage Lottery Fund), partnership working, and consultation. This has helped to achieve and refine the original vision, all with the purpose of realising the Trust’s charitable objectives.

We need your support in order to: 

  • Underpin curatorial activities at the Museum to ensure that future exhibitions are of sufficient profile and academic merit so that the Bowes is increasingly recognised as an internationally important centre for research and scholarship.
  • Help with collections care, development in the training of volunteers and staff and the conservation of the building and parks to be undertaken to the highest standards, ensuring the longevity of The Bowes Museum and its collections for future generations. 
  • Build on the current education programme for children and help it to focus more on engaging a younger and more urban
    audience with our contemporary and fashion exhibitions as well as providing a finer offer for our regular visitor base. 

To find our more information or discuss how you can support us, please contact Alison Nicholson, Fundraising Officer alison.nicholson@thebowesmuseum.org.uk, 01833 690 606.

Support us


Please choose an area of activity where you would most like to direct your support, i.e. supporting the upkeep of the Museum, art for young people or bringing the Museum into the park.


Amount that you wish to give

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Information about reopening


We are delighted the Prime Minister has announced that museums can reopen this summer. We understand you are excited at the prospect of visiting The Bowes Museum and would like to assure you we have been developing plans to welcome you back into our beautiful building by late August; we are working on vital social distancing measures so you, staff and volunteers can be confident of a safe environment which everyone can enjoy.

We take pride in offering a relaxed and enjoyable day out for all the family, and with that in mind we are extending the Museum passes we have issued in the last year. Our exceptional Norman Cornish exhibition will continue until Autumn 2020 and we are planning to release details of a packed events programme, including the Christmas Market, over the coming weeks.

In the meantime the grounds of The Bowes Museum are open to be enjoyed by walkers and cyclists, in line with the government guidance on COVID-19. The parkland can be accessed through the front pedestrian gates between 10.30-4.45 daily. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and understanding, and ask people to respect social distancing guidelines when they visit.

You can keep up to date with developments, including our reopening date here or on our Facebook and Twitter.