TAMWORTH Castle has been awarded Full Accreditation status by Arts Council England – which means that it meets the strict nationally-recognised standards set for museums across the country.
A huge amount of hard work has gone into achieving the award, both from Council staff and volunteers putting hundreds of hours into bringing the care and accessibility of the Castle’s collections and archives up to the nationally-required museum standards over the last six years.
The award also reinforces a shared ethical and professional basis for all participating museums.
Accreditation requires museums to work to a strict set of guidelines on everything from cataloguing and collecting, to how objects are handled, displayed and stored. It also means having policies and procedures in place to ensure that the work is done to a specific standard.
Staff and volunteers have been working to list, number, locate and re-pack and box around 25,000 objects and archives to the required standards, as well as moving all of the stored object collections into a single unit, fully fitted out with specialist museum shelving and racking.
The award lasts for three years until 2017, at which point Tamworth Castle will be invited to reapply for an Accreditation review.
Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Economy & Education, said: “The awarding of Full Accreditation to Tamworth Castle by Arts Council England is the culmination of years of hard work by the Castle’s staff and volunteers and we are delighted to retain this status as a nationally-recognised museum.
“All this work to retain Full Accreditation was done alongside the demands of running the Castle as a popular visitor attraction and wedding venue. To balance the demands of a professional association alongside the needs of visitors and local people, while managing the Castle efficiently within the ongoing financial constraints is an amazing achievement.
“A lot of work still remains to be done to enable public and research access to the stored collections in particular, as well as the archives, but we are proud of having achieved this award with no conditions attached. This shows that the management of Tamworth Castle’s collections and archives can no longer be described as ‘gathering dust in old store rooms’.”