Norfolk Museums Service

About Norfolk Museums Service

Norfolk Museums Service (NMS) was established in 1974 when Norfolk’s County and District councils agreed to delegate their authority for museums to a Joint Museums Committee and create a countywide museums service.

NMS is made up of 10 museum sites across Norfolk:
Ancient House Museum, Thetford
Cromer Museum
Elizabethan House Museum, Great Yarmouth
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse
Lynn Museum, King’s Lynn
Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell
Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
Strangers’ Hall, Norwich
Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life
Tolhouse Gaol, Great Yarmouth
The service also operates the Norwich Castle Study Centre, and a collections centre based at Gressenhall.

In 2018, NMS was recognised by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO), and awarded £4,812,680 in direct funding between 2018 and 2022.

Through operating as a joint service, NMS is able to provide central expertise in conservation, design, technical and collections management matters to its sites. The countywide nature of the service provides an additional benefit to visitors through the availability of the Norfolk Museums Pass, which allows passholders unlimited access to NMS sites for 12 months from purchase (subject to seasonal opening at some sites).

Inspiring pride in Norfolk’s heritage through 10 award-winning museums
Engaging and inspiring the widest possible audience, both across Norfolk and beyond
Enriching people’s lives and creating a sense of place and identity
Ensuring all Norfolk residents, especially children, experience high-quality learning in the museums we care for and through the collections in our trust
Contributing significantly to the visitor economy of Norfolk and contributing to the development of sustainable tourism partnerships
Developing our staff and volunteers to improve services and support wider employment and skills agendas
Collecting, preserving and interpreting the material evidence of Norfolk’s past
Stimulating creativity, inspiration and enjoyment through the museums and collections in our care

We are committed to caring for Norfolk’s rich heritage, both for future generations and for our communities and visitors today
We are passionate about learning and fostering skills and knowledge amongst Norfolk’s children
We provide leadership to other museums across Norfolk and the East of England, along with support to other cultural, educational and heritage organisations
We value and invest in our staff, trainees and volunteers so that they can deliver an outstanding service to our communities and to our visitors
We are accountable and credible in the work we do and we are open to challenge and advice
We are dedicated to the long-term care of the collections and historic buildings in our trust
We will work in partnership to achieve our mission and we will ensure that we are a trustworthy and dedicated partner to others
We will operate in a highly sustainable way, minimising our impact on the environment
We will encourage innovation and commercial awareness across all parts of our organisation