The Royal Armouries celebrates 25 years in Leeds as museum awarded new funding

The Royal Armouries has been awarded funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the rollout of a transformative Digital Vision project - as the museum celebrates 25 years in Leeds.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 12:14 pm

Over the last 25 years, over six million people have visited its five galleries and 8,500 objects on display in Leeds.

When the purpose-built museum opened on March 30, 1996, the aim was to tell the story of the objects in the national collection of arms and armour and bring the subject to life for a new audience.

This new project - funded with £429,600 from the National Lottery - will enable the Royal Armouries to engage new audiences at a time when online experiences are ever more critical, a spokesperson for the museum said.

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Over the last 25 years, over six million people have visited its five galleries and 8,500 objects on display in Leeds.

The Royal Armouries digital ambitions are to attract, empower and engage audiences with one of the world’s greatest collections of arms and armour and to create a ‘digital first’ culture throughout the museum.

The rollout of the project will transform the museum’s capacity to produce accessible, engaging, and relevant digital content for its growing audiences, the spokesperson added.

Digital volunteers will be key to the project’s success and the Royal Armouries will work with an advisory panel made up of volunteers with an interest in creating new digital content to tell the stories of the collection.

Dr Edward Impey, Director General & Master of the Armouries said: “What better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds than by announcing our innovative digital plans.

"Thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to harness the power of digital to reach even more audiences and to share the wonders of our world-leading collection of arms and armour”.

David Renwick, Area Director for the North, The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It is fantastic news that thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to support the Royal Armouries with this forward-looking digital project.

“The Covid-19 crisis has shown us the value of engaging digitally with communities and so we are keen to support projects that use digital innovation to connect people with their heritage. Whilst everyone is keen to get back to engaging with heritage directly, it is important to develop all channels that help open up important collections to wider audiences.”

Claire Cox, Head of Development at the Royal Armouries said: “We are delighted with this award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and thank all the staff and volunteers for their hard work in helping us to prepare for the bid.

"This project was already a priority for the Royal Armouries but with the emergence of Covid-19 and its impact on us and the communities we serve, it has become even more important to our future.

"The new digital content we developed during lockdown has already proved successful, but we can achieve so much more with this support. We are enormously grateful to The Heritage Fund for supporting this project at a time of uncertainty for the heritage sector”.