Top museums success for heritage and cultural experts Focus Consultants

St Fagans CastleFocus Consultants is celebrating a link with four of the top 20 free museums and galleries in the UK recommended by The Guardian newspaper.

The company has worked on many high-profile museums across the UK, including the National Army Museum in Chelsea and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, which was named UK museum of the year in 2012 by the Art Fund charity.

Now four museums that Focus has worked with or is currently involved in have been named on a top 20 list of free family friendly museums recommended to visit by The Guardian.

They are the V&A Museum of Childhood in London, St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff, Coventry Transport Museum and Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry.

Focus Consultants, which has its headquarters at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, and has branches in London, Leicester, Boston and near Lincoln, specialises in creative approaches to securing funding packages. The firm has worked to help many significant heritage, ecclesiastical, arts, culture and leisure schemes gain grants from a range of funding sources.

Since establishing in 1994, Focus has helped to secure £1 billion worth of grant assistance for a range of projects and businesses across the UK.

Partner at Focus Consultants, Kevin Osbon, said: “It’s great news to see that so many of our projects have made it onto this list of recommended museums and galleries to visit. Focus is proud to be part of the teams that are creating such high quality destinations that are filled with interesting and interactive activities for families.”

The firm worked for the V&A on a multi-million pound redevelopment of the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, which houses the V&A’s national collection of childhood-related objects, including dolls’ houses, toys and games, furniture and clothing. As well as overseeing the redevelopment, Focus also secured the funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which both made significant contributions to the successful opening of the project in early 2007.

At St Fagans, Focus helped the project to secure £11.5 million – the largest ever grant award in Wales by the Heritage Lottery Fund – and was then appointed project managers and cost managers for the open air museum near Cardiff. The St Fagans project is now out to tender with works due to start on site shortly.

Focus was strategic lead on the creation of the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum initiative – a £12m complete redisplay of the museum and art gallery including the creation of Coventry History Centre and the development of a huge glazed canopy to effectively turn the building around 180 degrees… completely changing its orientation so that it could be linked to Coventry Cathedral and Coventry University via a major public square.

Focus is also lead consultant on a project to create an internationally significant transport heritage attraction by redeveloping Coventry Transport Museum, which has received initial support for a £4.9m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £3m from the European Regional Development Fund. The complete redisplay of Coventry Transport Museum is about to start on site.

The Guardian published its list as part of the newspaper’s ‘How to see the world for free (or almost)’ series.