Partnership helps ensure Sheffield’s museums legacy is secure

Museums Sheffield and Wake Smith Solicitors have joined forces to launch a new legacy giving appeal that will help ensure that great art and heritage can continue to inspire future generations in the city.

The Sheffield firm of solicitors has become the museum’s first ever legacies partner and will work with Museums Sheffield to encourage the city’s rich history of giving and philanthropy to go on via individuals.

The partnership sees the launch of a new legacy giving programme offering the chance for the community to remember Museums Sheffield in their Wills and support the museums and galleries’ work today and in the future.

An official launch event will take place in April, with further activities already being planned around Will Month in October.

Suzanne Porter, Director of the Wills and Probate team at Wake Smith said: “Working in partnership with Museums Sheffield and using our expertise, we will develop and grow a legacy programme that will help to ensure Museums Sheffield continues to thrive and that inspirational art and heritage remains accessible to everyone.

“Sheffield has a rich history of giving and philanthropy, from John Ruskin and J G Graves through to the many visitors who give via our donation boxes every day. Every contribution makes a vital difference; the city’s historic collections have been built and cared for through the generosity of Sheffield’s people.

“Remembering Museums Sheffield in a Will is a special way of being part of that tradition and making a vital, long term difference.

“It is simple to do and exempt from inheritance tax. A gift in your Will, however big or small, will allow the continuation of care and conservation of the city’s collections on behalf of the people of Sheffield.”

More than one million people visit Museums Sheffield’s free spaces – and this year it will cost more than £3 million to run Millennium Gallery, Weston Park Museum and Graves Gallery.

As well as funding from Sheffield City Council and Arts Council England, corporate sponsorship and a portfolio of dedicated supporters allows the charity to continue to care for and conserve the city’s historic collections on behalf of the people of Sheffield, whilst delivering ambitious exhibitions, events and pioneering learning and outreach activities.

Kim Streets, Museums Sheffield Chief Executive, said: “Sheffield’s museums and galleries hold a place in many people’s hearts and special memories are created here every day.

“Remembering Museums Sheffield in your Will help us continue to use the city’s collections to inspire Sheffield’s people and the next generation of talented artists, makers, designers, engineers, creatives and thinkers.

“It’s fitting that we take this step forward with Wake Smith, who understand the importance of heritage with their own 200 year history in the city.”

The collections cared for by Museums Sheffield are as significant as they are diverse. Archaeological material includes finds excavated from Sheffield and the Peak District region through to objects from Ancient Egyptian and Roman societies; the city’s collection of decorative metalwork was awarded Designated Status in 1999 in recognition of its outstanding national and historical significance. The collection is made up of over 13,000 items and represents the light metals trades of Sheffield's long manufacturing and craft history.

Natural Science is also well represented in Sheffield's collection, which contains over 120,000 biological and 60,000 geological specimens, many of which highlight important scientific data and historical information.

The Social History collections contain thousands of objects representing the everyday and exceptional lives of local people from the 16th century to the present day, while a World Cultures collection of around 2,000 objects reflecting the historical links between Sheffield, Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific.

Sheffield’s collection features more than 5,000 paintings, watercolours, prints, drawings, photographs and sculpture that portrays the development of British and European art from the 17th century to the present day.

Museums Sheffield is also custodians of the Guild of St George’s unique Ruskin Collection, formed by the influential Victorian artist, writer and critic John Ruskin as an educational resource for the people of Sheffield.

For further information on the Museums Sheffield legacy project contact Wake Smith Solicitors on 0114 266 6660.

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