Become a trustee
St Neots Museum is recruiting new trustees, can you help us to prosper and grow?
Help to shape a new museum and heritage offer for St Neots. St Neots Museum is recruiting new Trustees who can help us to take forward our ambitious plans to re-develop the museum and create a vibrant community asset that explores the story of the town from prehistoric times to the present day.
The museums story
St Neots Museum is a small, friendly, local museum serving the people of St Neots and the surrounding villages. The museum is located in St Neots town centre in the Victorian police station and Magistrates Court with Edwardian police cells that visitors can experience.
The museum collects information, objects, photographs and all types of ephemera relating to St Neots and the surrounding villages and the permanent displays bring to life the history of the area, from prehistoric times to the present day. Our permanent displays feature hands-on activities for children and we have an active programme of temporary exhibitions.
The museum opened in 1995, and from small beginnings now attracts over 11,000 visitors a year. The museum is currently open Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm and entry is free for all local residents. Other visitors pay £3.00 for adults, £2.00 for seniors and concessions and £1.00 for children.
We welcome groups of many kinds from schools and cub scouts to adults and foreign students. We run regular family workshops during the school holidays as well as hosting an annual summer Living History Festival, an early autumn Heritage Open Day and other special events.
Managing the museum and governance
The museum is a charitable company, St Neots Museum Ltd. governed by a Board of Trustees and administered by a management committee.
The museum is managed by three part time professional members of staff, the Curator, the Learning and Development Officer and the Visitor Services and Marketing Officer, who between them work 84 hours per week.
Volunteers are an essential part of the museum workforce, running the museum reception, documenting the museum’s collections and carrying out weekly maintenance at the museum. The museum has over 50 active volunteers.
The museum is financed by a grant from St Neots Town Council, by donations from local Parish Councils and from the Friends of the Museum and also by other fund raising initiatives.
Beaver scouts visiting the museum in 2019.
The charitable objects of the Museum
To advance the education of the public in conservation and the history of St Neots, Cambridgeshire and its immediate environs by the provision and maintenance of a museum.
Museum mission statement
Our mission is to collect and preserve the heritage of St Neots and the surrounding area for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations.
St Neots Museum vision
To inspire people, and in particular our local community, to learn about, enjoy and participate in their heritage through the collections, exhibitions and knowledge of St Neots Museum.
A time for change
St Neots museum is a thriving part of the local community, but after twenty four years the museum is in need of a make-over.
The museum has been such a success that it has outgrown the low key displays and original space available in the old town Police Station and Magistrates Court, and it now needs to extend and create new exhibition spaces fit for an expanding town with growing villages close by. In the last quarter of a century development led archaeological digs have revealed fascinating new information about this area, from Loves Farm to Buckden and beyond, but these new discoveries are not yet reflected in our displays. The population of the town has also grown dramatically from only 5,000 in 1969 to over 34,000 in 2019 and the museum needs new space for community displays, events and activities.
In November 2019 the won the Museums in Cambridgeshire – Small Museum of the Year award, for museums with up to 10,000 visitors per annum in Cambridgeshire. We also received two highly commended awards, firstly for our hardworking documentation volunteer, Jean Stratford who was Highly Commended in the Heritage Heroes category and secondly for our Jailbreak Escape Room project, run jointly with Simon and Jenny Cooper of ‘Mystery in History’ which was Highly Commended in the ‘New for You’ category.
Liz and Lesley with the Cambridgeshire, Small Museum of the Year award November 2019.
Many of our current Trustees have been with the museum since we first opened in 1995 and we now need to supplement our board of Trustees to enable us to achieve our aim of redeveloping the museum as a bigger and better community resource and visitor attraction.
We need new hands-on Trustees who can help us with the following tasks:
- Strategic development
- Fund raising and preparing grant applications
- Developing links with the local business community
- Advising on marketing and publicity
By becoming a Trustee you can help shape the museum’s future by ensuring the preservation of the heritage of St Neots and the surrounding villages, and securing the future of the museum’s collections. It will offer you the opportunity to broaden your knowledge of the locality and a chance to meet like-minded people and share expertise.
The museum’s Living History Festival in 2018.
The moment is now
In 2018 St Neots was chosen as the first Cambridgeshire market town to begin working on a new Master Plan to guide its development. At the same time the opportunity arose to apply to a national High Streets Development Fund to boost growth in the town centre. This is a time of major change and development for the town and the museum can play an important role in providing information about the history of the area, by explaining the cultural background to current events, providing a sense of place in changing times, and reflecting the part migration has played in the human history of our area from the time the first human glimpsed a woolly mammoth by the river Great Ouse, to the opening of the first secondary school in 1960 and the new developments of the early 2000s.