Arts Derbyshire


Derby Museums appeals for Endowment donations to help secure its future

Image: A young visitor explores a loom on display in The Gateway at the Museum of Making © Chris Seddon Photography / Derby Museums

Derby Museums, the independent charitable trust operating three much-loved museums in Derby, is appealing to local businesses and the public to support the final push of its £1 million Endowment challenge, which will contribute to securing the future of its museums for generations to come.

Established in 1879, and formed as a charity in 2012, Derby Museums operates three museums in the city; Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Pickford’s House and the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill, part of the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A cornerstone of Derby’s cultural offer, with a long and popular history, Derby Museums offers a diverse programme that celebrates the city, its people and heritage, bringing high profile events like the Derby Ram Trail and Assemble: Derby’s Festival of Making to Derby’s streets and showcasing internationally important exhibitions, family-friendly activities, school sessions, talks, hands-on workshops and more.


As a charitable trust, Derby Museums relies on funding and grants from organisations, as well as donations from businesses and the general public to ensure our museums remains free for all our visitors.

In 2017, Derby Museums was one of just 15 heritage organisations across the UK to have successfully been awarded a Heritage Endowment Grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Since that time, this grant has enabled every pound donated to Derby Museums’ Endowment to be doubled up to a maximum of £1 million. The Endowment is invested for perpetuity and the income from the investment provides the organisation with a long-term, sustainable annual income.

The race is now on for Derby Museums to reach its £1 million Endowment target by the end of September and, with just £44,000 left to raise, the organisation is appealing for public support.

A recent pledge from a generous supporter means that, until the end of the campaign period, donations towards the last £44,000 will be doubled again, transforming a donation of £100 into £500 for Derby Museums (with Gift Aid).

Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums, said:

“In this last push for our Endowment campaign, we are appealing to local businesses and individuals to help us make the most of this exceptional time-limited offer where any donation received will go four times as far.”

“Against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis and the city’s post-pandemic recovery, the importance of supporting free-to-enter cultural organisations like Derby Museums is perhaps more important now than ever.”

“By supporting our appeal, you will be supporting culture, education and wellbeing in our city and helping to ensure that future generations can reap the benefit of the museums’ collections and the huge range of activities and events they inspire. Donating to our Endowment Fund will help us to secure the future of Derby’s heritage for everyone”

As a thank you for donations of £500 or more, Derby Museums is offering the opportunity for donors to feature on its Giving Wall display, based at the Museum and Art Gallery on The Strand. This exhibition space celebrates and thanks philanthropists of the past, alongside those today.

To find out more about the Endowment and make a donation, visit Derby Museums’ website at:

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