A NORTH-East museum has been awarded more than £450,000 of National Lottery cash for a five-year programme of paid internships for graduates.
Officials at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, will use the money to fund a Conservation in Action project which aims to bridge the gap between academic studies and meaningful practical experience.
The scheme will offer a number of 12-month paid internships over a five year period starting this summer.
Those graduates taking part will learn on the job, working alongside the museum's conservation team on The Bowes' nationally recognised art collections which date from the 14th to 20th centuries and include paintings, ceramics, textiles and furniture.
Training will include surveying, preventative conservation, staging of temporary exhibitions, supervision of volunteers and working with other museums.
In all, the museum has been awarded £454,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund under its Skills for the Future programme and follows an award last summer of £9,300 to develop the project.
Jon Old, conservation manager at The Bowes Museum, said: “This project will assist the museum by allowing us to use our collections more extensively and further develop our recent progress in conservation.”
He added: “It will also offer one of the best opportunities available for conservation graduates to gain hands-on experience of working in a museum environment while gaining key skills in their sector.”
Mr Old said that in addition to the training opportunities, the project will improve the museum’s care of its collections, enable stored items to be put on display and make conservation activity more visible to visitors.
It will also extend the museum’s capacity for providing conservation training and advice in the region.