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Good Growth Programme's £3.4m backing for new Cultural Centre and Museum for the Isles of Scilly

Artist impression Isles of Scilly Cultural Centre
The transformation of the much-loved Grade II listed Town Hall on St Mary's into a focal point for arts and culture on the Isles of Scilly is one of the latest projects to receive support from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Programme which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The planned Cultural Centre and Museum for the Isles of Scilly has received £3.4m from the Good Growth Programme, which means the £15.72m project is now fully funded. It represents a major infrastructure investment for the long term economic and community wellbeing of the islands, which will create new jobs, boost the local economy and celebrate the islands’ environment, heritage and culture.
Led by the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the Isles of Scilly Museum Association, the initiative will restore and extend the Town Hall building, in Hugh Town, creating a fully-accessible Cultural Centre and Museum destination for both local people, day visitors and holidaymakers; a much-needed indoor venue for cinema, theatre and live music performances; and an Island Hall and gathering place for the local community.
Its aim is to address a current lack of cultural facilities on the islands, in particular for young people, and ongoing concerns around isolation, community cohesion and an ageing demographic, with implications for the islands’ future economic viability.
The investment from the Good Growth Programme is the latest in a series of successful funding bids by the project, which includes £6m in Levelling Up funding from government, £750,000 from Arts Council England, £382,000 from the Council of the Isles of Scilly and £4.6m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Good Growth Programme also previously provided £353,000 towards an initial feasibility study to investigate and begin developing the project proposals.
Survey work is expected to start this month and the aim is to open by March 2026.
In line with Good Growth principles, the Cultural Centre and Museum project will create a fully accessible facility aimed at creating a wide range of activities and events, catering to diverse audiences and age groups.
The refurbishment of the Grade II listed Town Hall building itself will significantly improve its thermal and environmental performance and reduce energy use, including through replacing fossil fuel heating with high efficiency electric air source heat pump technology, low energy fittings and energy management systems and discretely placed solar PV on the roof; all contributing towards the Council of the Isles of Scilly’s net zero carbon commitments.
Local employment, skills and volunteering opportunities will be created and the project will diversify and strengthen the local visitor economy, offering wet weather activities for visitors and supporting efforts to extend the tourism offer into the ‘shoulder months’ either side of the peak season.
Cllr Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, said:
"We're delighted that the Good Growth programme has been able to complete the funding package that will make this exciting project a reality for the Isles of Scilly. Once complete it will create an enduring social and economic legacy for the islands, while celebrating their unique culture and heritage."
Councillor Tim Dean, Council of the Isles of Scilly Lead Member for Housing and Corporate Estate said:
“This announcement comes at a very exciting stage of the project as it means the development is now fully funded. I’m delighted that the value of the project to the islands has been recognised by the Good Growth Programme and that the Council is getting such support to make this important new facility a reality.”
The £3.4m investment supporting the Cultural Centre and Museum for the Isles of Scilly by the Good Growth Programme is funded by the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF). Cornwall has been allocated £132m of SPF funding over three years with investment decisions taken at local level and with a focus on green and inclusive growth.

Find out more about the Good Growth Programme and the projects it is supporting in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Good Growth 

Story posted 1 May 2024

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