Hull awarded £255,000 to support major maritime project

Whalers in the Arctic by James Wheldon - Hull Maritime Museum.
Whalers in the Arctic by James Wheldon – Hull Maritime Museum.

The team behind Hull’s ambitious maritime project has secured more than £255,000 to care and conserve many of the city’s priceless artefacts and enable deeper understanding and in-depth research of Hull’s maritime collections.

Successful bids to the John Ellerman Foundation for £170,000 and Arts Council England Designation Development Fund for £88,113 will now contribute to the £2.6m funding shortfall to support the wider £27.4m Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project.

Sir John Ellerman was a Hull-born son of a German immigrant. He is widely acknowledged to have once been the richest man in Britain and just one of his hugely successful businesses was the Hull-based, shipping business, Ellerman’s Wilson Line. And now, thanks to the Foundation that was subsequently set up in his family’s name some of Hull’s most important maritime objects and artefacts will be in the best ever condition. The three year grant will support the conservation and redisplay of some of Hull’s important maritime collections, as part of the refurbishment and redevelopment of its Maritime Museum.

Work to document, restore and conserve some of the museum’s objects has already been completed and has not only improved the collection but also helped prepare for the re-display of the refurbished galleries. There have also been some rewarding audience engagement opportunities and it is intended that these will continue throughout the life of the project, assisted by these grants. Over the next three years, £1.8m – from various funding streams, will be invested in the care of the collection as well as the creation of a new collections’ store at Dock Office Chambers.

Individual grants were available from the Arts Council England Designation Development Fund for between £20,000 and £90,000. The fund recognises the importance of excellent collections and provides funding for projects that ensure their long-term sustainability, maximise their public value and encourage the sharing of best practice across the sector. The funding awarded to the council will support the ‘Diving Deeper’ project which will enable increased understanding of Hull’s maritime collections.

Through research with source communities, collating existing academic research and exploring/making accessible archival holdings, there will be greater insight into Hull’s 800 years of maritime history and the collections that tell the city’s story. The most significant element of ‘Diving Deeper’ is the research to inform content and activities linked to our Inuit collection which will reveal hidden stories and improve our knowledge of this important part of Hull’s maritime history.

Councillor Daren Hale, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment, Regeneration, Planning, Land and Property, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this funding from both the Arts Council England Designation Development Fund and the John Ellerman Foundation. It will now support us in making our collections more accessible to more audiences, increasing the understanding of our collections in more exciting and engaging ways.

“It will enable people to delve deeper into the stories of a maritime city so visitors, both local or from further afield, can discover more about our nationally significant collections.

“This will in turn create a more authentic experience for those visiting the museum, following its extensive refurbishment.”

Robin Diaper, Curator of Maritime and Social History at Hull Maritime Museum, said: “We are delighted to receive this significant funding. This substantial investment in the museum’s collection will help us deliver our vision for excellence at Hull Maritime Museum. It will enable us to care for the collections and improve access to the many untold stories of Hull’s rich maritime past, in turn improving the visitor experience further.”

Pete Massey, Director, North, Arts Council England, said: “Congratulations to Hull City Council on its successful application to our Designation Development fund for investment in their Diving Deeper project. It is an exciting time to be in Hull and it is fantastic to see the legacy of Hull 2017 being realised with projects like this.

“Hull is a city built on its maritime past and so it is brilliant to see that this project revealing more of the city’s history through its maritime collections. I look forward to seeing where the project takes those researching the collection and what new stories they can tell us about Hull.”

John Ellerman Foundation, said: “We are delighted to support the curatorial and conservation strand of work in the redevelopment of this important museum, as a significant part of an ambitious major project.”

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Hull City Council, five key maritime treasures will be transformed, these include – the Arctic Corsair, North End Shipyard, Spurn Lightship, Dock Office Chambers and the Hull Maritime Museum.

For more information on the major maritime project, visit maritimeHull.co.uk

[Anna Marshall – Hull City Council]