Nottingham City Museums and Galleries’ lace collection has been awarded Designated collection status by Arts Council England. It joins the Arts Council’s list of 140 nationally important Designated collections and is one of only four newly-designated collections announced today (11 December).

The Arts Council’s Designation scheme is a mark of distinction awarded to the finest cultural collections housed in non-national museums, libraries and archives across England.

Nottingham City Museums and Galleries’ Lace Machinery and Lace Collections tell the distinctive story of the city’s industrial and textile past and explains how a domestic craft became an important mass market commodity.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said: “It is wonderful news that the city’s lace collection is recognised with this prestigious Designated status. Lace production played such a huge role in the heritage of our city and it is important to remember the international reputation of Nottingham lace and that we continue to celebrate it today. The Award will bring added momentum to our work to raise awareness of this important collection and increase accessibility to it through a variety of creative projects.”

The award brings to fruition a campaign by Nottingham City Museums and Galleries Service, working with the support of partners such as Nottingham Trent University, to bring the history of Nottingham lace to wider attention. For example, in 2012-13 Nottingham Castle co-organised the successful ‘Lace; Here; Now’ season of exhibitions and events across the city with NTU’s School of Art and Design and worked with them on an accompanying book. The award unlocks the opportunity to raise funds to support the collection, stage further exhibitions and research new lace displays for example, lace will feature strongly in the ‘Creative City’ strand of Nottingham Castle’s major development plans.

The Scheme, which was launched in 1997 was closed to new applications in 2013 to enable a period of review. However, as part of a pilot programme to refocus the scheme, Nottingham City Museums and Galleries were one of four institutions to secure Designated status from Arts Council England ahead of the Scheme’s relaunch next year.
Scott Furlong, Director, Acquisitions, Exports, Loans and Collections at Arts Council England,said: ‘We are delighted that the importance of these collections has been recognised with the award of Designation. We are also grateful to these organisations for helping to trial our new application process which will support the launch of the refreshed Scheme next Spring.”