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The Novium Museum receives Museums Association Grant to expand virtual field trips

Novio - Virtual Field Trips

The Novium Museum in Chichester has been awarded a grant of £32,923 to expand their series of innovative virtual field trips for school and learning groups.

The Novium is one of just 14 museums across the UK to benefit from The Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund, designed to explore and expand digital innovations developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund is a collaboration between The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and The Museum's Association. A total of £600,000 will support the 14 museums to kick-start, scale up and evaluate the innovations they designed through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual field trips were first developed by The Novium Museum in response to the challenges faced by primary schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a grant of £21,646 awarded through Art Fund's Respond and Reimagine programme. Aimed at seven to 11 year olds, the virtual field trips bring high quality museum learning into the classroom.

Combining collection objects, actors and interactive elements, the virtual field trips include 45 minutes of interactive filmed content, object-based activity sheets, an optional loan box and optional virtual city walks.

The Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund grant will enable the museum to further develop the virtual field trips with a focus on reaching children experiencing increased disadvantage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding will allow the museum to share more of their collections by expanding the curriculum subjects covered, as well developing virtual field trips for early years and key stage one audiences. It will also allow the museum to offer blended learning opportunities for children who have experienced a widening opportunity gap as a result of COVID-19, with a number of virtual field trips being offered in combination with physical workshops at the museum.

Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Chichester District Council, says:

'This is fantastic news for The Novium Museum. Feedback from school groups who have already benefitted from our virtual field trips has demonstrated a real need for our dynamic virtual learning offer.

'This grant funding will allow us to further develop our virtual field trips and create more opportunities for children across Chichester District and beyond to benefit from our enriching learning programme and museum collection.'

Information about The Novium Museum's learning programme, including Virtual Field Trips and Covid-secure measures, can be found online: or by emailing

The Novium Museum is currently open from Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 - 16:00 and 10:00 - 15:00 on Sundays. Admission is free, with donations gratefully accepted, but tickets must be booked online in advance. For more information, visit the museum's website:


Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive of UKRI, said:

'Museums play a vital role in bringing communities together; they help us to understand our past and imagine a better future.

This investment will bring diverse, underrepresented voices into museums to share their experiences, so that new audiences benefit from our outstanding museums and museums benefit from different perspectives.

Coming together as a society to learn and discover new things is a key part of our cultural lives, and the recipients of this funding will help to facilitate this in novel and exciting ways.'

Sharon Heal, Museums Association Director, said:

'The Digital Innovation and Engagement grants were a timely opportunity for museums to build on their creativity in engaging their communities during lockdown and to develop their skills in the digital space.

'The 14 grants awarded represent the best of a very competitive funding round and range from innovative co-curated online tours to explore decolonial narratives, to create creating online forums for care-leavers.

'Working with UKRI-AHRC has helped us develop a ground-breaking funding stream that will support museums to build on the new ways of working that have evolved in the pandemic and we look forward to continuing this partnership.'

Professor Christopher Smith, AHRC Executive Chair and UKRI International Champion, said:

'Our nation's museums have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to educate and inspire audiences while their doors were closed.

'The resources developed to enable this has had the additional positive outcome that it has helped them reach diverse, global audiences and has redefined what is possible for the future.

'There is a lot of optimism about what this means for the sector and investments such as these will support museums to continue to innovate and grow.'


Notes to Editors

For further information or to arrange an interview with a UKRI-AHRC spokesperson please

Alex Fyans, UKRI Press Officer
Mobile: 07522 218070

About UK Research and Innovation
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in
the UK, with a budget of around £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils,
Innovate UK and Research England.
We operate across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education,
research organisations businesses, government, and charities.
Our vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone
the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and
Our mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a
thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and
public good.

About the Arts and Humanities Research Council
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, funds
internationally outstanding independent researchers across the whole range of the arts and
humanities: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages and literature, design,
heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. The quality and range
of research supported by AHRC works for the good of UK society and culture and contributes
both to UK economic success and to the culture and welfare of societies across the globe.