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College to continue managing Kendal museum

17 July 2018

Kendal College will have more freedom to run the town’s museum as part of a new management agreement.

We are to enter a new agreement with the college which will enable it to make better use of the space for educational purposes and to display more treasured artefacts. 

The existing 10 year management agreement with the college, which comes to an end next year, will continue for a further decade, together with the college taking a lease of the property from the Allen Trust which owns the building.

Councillor Chris Hogg, our Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure, said: “Kendal College is probably the only college in the country which runs a museum. It is one of the oldest museums and has a varied, interesting and very significant collection.

“The collection, which is owned by the council, is a valuable academic resource and the students take much inspiration from it.

“This new management agreement is a win, win for all concerned. It will allow the college to make better use of the site and get as much of the collection on display as possible whilst offering the college added security of a further 10 year management agreement.”

The changes to the arrangements will mean that the annual management fee which we pay to the college will reduce from £104,000 to £30,000. 

Cllr Hogg added: “Kendal College will continue to manage the museum on the council’s behalf, be able to make more efficient and sustainable use of the property and enable greater accessibility to the collection. This way we can reduce the cost to the council tax payer whilst ensuring future access to the collection.

“We want to make the most of the collection, ensuring as much of it as possible is displayed for public enjoyment and for educational purposes, further developing the college’s curriculum.”

Kendal Museum was founded in 1796 and includes collections of local archaeology, history, geology and a natural history collection from around the globe. The museum also has a large taxidermy collection.

Five unfinished Neolithic axes, which were found in 1988, are displayed at the museum as part of the project A History of the North in 100 Objects.

A spokesperson for Kendal College said: “We are very pleased to be able to continue working with the museum. This arrangement will allow the college to enhance our teaching and learning space for the experience and enrichment of our learners and visitors, whilst allowing us to maintain Kendal Museum as a visitor attraction and teaching museum. 

“The museum holds a significant collection of natural history, archaeology and social history and the agreement with SLDC further secures the long term future of the museum buildings and collections as part of Kendal College’s Arts and Media Campus.”

The museum building is owned by the Allen Trust and Kendal Town Council act as trustees to the Allen Trust.

The Neolithic axes pictured are part of the display in Kendal. 

Neolithic axes on display