Porthcurno Telegraph Museum
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum had ambitious plans for a major re-development of its visitor offer, and De Facto was successful in securing a Stage 1 pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund on behalf of the museum, and thanks to an injection of £125,000 from the DCMS/Wolfson Fund and a further £1.44 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) the £2.68m refurbishment programme was completed in 2014. The project will preserve and celebrate Porthcurno's unique heritage, which is described as the Victorian's Silicon Valley, having once been the biggest cable station in the world and central to global communications.
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum is situated at Porthcurno in West Penwith at the extreme south western tip of Cornwall. Its history began in 1870 and today, it is the only museum of submarine communications in the world. Porthcurno has an internationally important collection and archive covering 138 years of communications technology and this remains highly relevant to current communications and networks development today- in the UK and internationally.
Following the landing of the first undersea telegraph cable there in 1870, Porthcurno became one of the most strategically important communication points linking Great Britain to America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Thousands of miles of telegraph cables were laid under seas and oceans, converging in the cable hut on Porthcurno’s sandy beach and then on to the cable station further up the valley.
Improved visitor experience is at the centre of the museum’s re-development: a new Introduction Gallery has opened up the Museum's core themes to visitors, whilst additional gallery space can accommodate new permanent and temporary exhibitions and events. A purpose-built Learning Centre now provides space for formal and informal learning and community-led activities. A new café and improved visitor facilities have further enhanced the general visitor experience but help to secure the long-term financial sustainability of the museum.
The achievement of a Stage 1 pass from the HLF was the turning point for Porthcurno and De Facto was delighted to have been able to assist the Director in achieving this.