National Recognition for The Atkinson and its Collections

National Recognition for The Atkinson and its Collections


 The Atkinson is the only North West venue to be successful in two national initiatives -helping to put Sefton well and truly on the map.

The Atkinson is one of just six museums, and the only organisation in the North West, to be awarded funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections FundThe Atkinson is also the only organisation in the North West to be selected by the British Museum for the latest round of its Knowledge Exchange Programme.

The £68,000 Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund award is for Rediscovering Our Collections. This grant supports conservation and research into our important prints and drawings collections, that have been underused and neglected for many years.

Our project will help increase access and engagement and open up fundraising prospects.  It will create opportunities for communities, students from local Colleges, volunteers and young people through digital engagement with national and international partners.

The investment made by Sefton Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund to redevelop The Atkinson now means that we have the right conditions to care for these important collections.  All of Sefton’s collections are within one venue, providing state of the art display and storage facilities and the professional museum expertise to deliver collections management and engagement at the highest level.

Emma Anderson, Director of The Atkinson, said: ‘We plan to turn a currently unusable resource into a massive opportunity to explore new approaches for interpretation with target audiences.  Rediscovering Our Collections has the potential to transform us as an organisation, to surprise our audiences and to open up our collections.’

Sally Colvin, Museums Association’s Collections Coordinator, said:

‘It was tough for the selection committee to choose between projects. From 63 initial applications, we have awarded £525,000 to six projects.”The projects awarded grants in this round really bring together research into collections with audience engagement – across a terrific range of collections.’

The British Museum’s Knowledge Exchange Programme gives a member of staff from The Atkinson and one from the British Museum, a unique opportunity to gain insight into the work of each other’s organisation, and to share ideas and skills.

The programme is all about collaboration to develop meaningful exchanges which are mutually beneficial to both the individuals on the exchange and the host organisations.

Emma Anderson, Director of The Atkinson, said:

The British Museum is particularly interested in working with us because The Atkinson brings so many different art forms and activities together under one roof. 

We have a very small team in comparison to the vast scale of the British Museum.  Over the last few years staff had to focus on completing the capital programme, so this comes as a fantastic opportunity to strengthen their professional confidence and expertise through developing close links with the British Museum. 

For more information about events, activities and projects at The Atkinson, please sign up to The Atkinson’s e-newsletter through the website at


The Atkinson is very grateful for the support of all its funders:

Granada Foundation, Arts Council England, Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund & Museums Association

The Atkinson
Lord Street


Notes to Editors

For more information, interviews, images or review tickets, please contact Emma Lloyd at The Atkinson on 0151 934 2129 |


About The Atkinson

The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful new home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and heritafe, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. Significant investment has been made in refurbishing the stunning 19th century buildings, to create a really welcoming multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.

The Atkinson offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer. Wile the day away visiting the new shop, that sells gifts and contemporary crafts from regional makers and then relax in the Bakery, choosing from a selection of artisan bread sandwiches, cakes and sharing platters. Wonder through the major exhibitions and see performances from some of the UK’s foremost musicians, actors, performers and companies, films, family activities and much more.

In October 2014 The Atkinson becomes something even more exciting for visitors, with the opening of the museum which will tell the story of Southport and Sefton as well as the area’s dramatic maritime history. It will also be the new home for the Goodison Egyptology Collection, a remarkable collection of archaeology that has not seen for over 40 years.



Posted on 7 July 2014 under Just announced

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