Vision & Goals
In order to work towards our vision for the future, we have drawn up five overarching goals which inform policies, plans and work objectives for the period of our Forward Plan 2013-2018:
Goal 1: Our collections are celebrated and shared. They are recognised for their quality and significance, and through our interpretation & research programmes they are explored by experts and non-experts alike.
Goal 2: Our museum is a learning zone. We provide innovative and inspiring learning opportunities for people of all ages to engage with our collections, exhibitions and areas of specialism.
Goal 3: We are a valued and integral service in our community. We actively contribute to the cultural and economic wellbeing of our community, and we work with others to break down barriers to engagement.
Goal 4: Our organisation is confident, resilient and enterprising. Clarity of governance and management, and a well-developed staff team, allowing us to develop our work with a confident and progressive direction.
Goal 5: Our work is sustainable and resourceful. We exemplify our priorities as a Geohub, demonstrating the value of learning within the context of sustainability and environmental responsibility.
Torquay Natural History Society was established in 1844, at a time marked by its advances in science, exploration and innovation. The cultural and economic wealth of Torquay, as well as its temperate climes, drew explorers, scientists and historians together, amassing a wealth of fascinating collections, and in some cases, ground-breaking discoveries. Within our museum we hold pieces of national and international importance, and two recipients of the prestigious RGS Gold Award are amongst our donors. Through documenting our collection we have unearthed treasures hidden away for over a century.
The emerging role of the museum brings with it exciting opportunities. Museums are no longer fortresses of knowledge. They are now engaged in a conversation, with visitors of all ages and levels of experience free to investigate their collections. We want to engage with researchers and curators, scientists and artists. We want to share our collections with audiences old and new, and have them inform our programmes and exhibitions.
Our origins as a Natural History Museum are more relevant than ever. We sit within the world’s first International Urban Geopark, endorsed by UNESCO in recognition of its rich geological, historical and cultural heritage. We live at a time when climate change and environmental responsibility is more pressing than ever. With our expertise in Geology and the Natural Sciences, we are well placed to promote scientific knowledge and environmental sustainability, and to lead by example. Establishing ourselves as a ‘Geohub’, we want to become a centre of learning for children and adults, experts and non-experts alike. We want to become a place where younger generations can embrace learning and experimentation, and discover science as relevant, exciting and fun.
We know that we have a valuable role to play in building the resilience and prosperity of our community, particularly within our tourism-led economy. Hand-in-hand with our cultural offer, we can provide a unique blend of opportunities: for people to engage with their cultural heritage, learn new skills, identify paths to employment, widen their horizons, build self-confidence and a sense of purpose. We also have a role to play in promoting social cohesion, providing a space where people can meet others of different ages, cultures and backgrounds to themselves and learn about each other.
All of this can only happen in a context of collaboration and openness, working with public, private and voluntary sector organisations, with community stakeholders and other cultural agencies. Our vision is ambitious and will be challenging to deliver, but through working in partnership and building on our strengths, we look forward to a enterprising future.
Torquay Museum’s aim is to safeguard, collect and preserve those objects relating to Torbay’s cultural and historic heritage and to present them in an accessible and relevant form as a source of inspiration, enjoyment and learning for everyone. Torquay Museum aims enhance the lives of people and lead to a greater understanding of past human cultures and natural environments.
The objects for which the Society is registered are enshrined in the Articles and Memorandum of Association as follows:
- the advancement of education by promoting the study of the Natural Sciences and Human History, by acquiring, housing and exhibiting and conserving, restoring and repairing objects and collections of an educational nature with particular emphasis on Natural History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Ethnography, Social and Local History and the Industrial and Decorative Arts, As defined by the Museum’s Acquisition and Disposal Policy, with emphasis being given to subjects relating to the county of Devon
- establishing, acquiring, managing and maintaining museums, galleries, libraries and others places where such purposes may be achieved and where education and educational research and enquiry and the exchange and dissemination of relevant views and information my happen.