Royal Crown Derby Museum

Royal Crown Derby is widely considered to be the oldest English porcelain manufacturer, dating back 270 years to the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution, when the Midlands city of Derby was at the centre of a rapid process of innovation in manufacturing and design that was to change the world.  The Royal Crown Derby Museum is an independent charitable trust which holds the most comprehensive collection of Derby Porcelain anywhere in the world – but the collection has been underused, and there has been a lack of significant investment in recent years.

The Board of Trustees commissioned NEA to work alongside staff and stakeholders to undertake research and development work into partnership building and engagement, with the aim of re-positioning the Museum – and Royal Crown Derby as a brand – more centrally in the cultural life of Derby.

The project explored the potential for the Museum to work with partners to enrich the lives of local people and visitors in a variety of ways.  This included scoping out opportunities for developing creative practice and undertaking research projects involving innovative usage of the collection and archives. The project moved the organisation towards a more sustainable footing, including through maximising earned income and grants and exploring the scope for closer collaborative working with other cultural and heritage organisations in the City.

In a second phase of work, NEA supported the charity in carrying out a national search for a new Director. This process led to the appointment of Elizabeth Woledge to the role in March 2020.

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