About The Box

The Box is Plymouth’s new £46 million cultural destination, proudly led by Plymouth City Council in Britain's Ocean City. A museum, gallery and archive. A cafe, shop and bar. A place that you can make your own, and where there's always something new to discover.

The opening of The Box was one of the most significant cultural events in the UK in 2020. Plymouth's former Museum and Art Gallery, Central Library and St Luke's church buildings have been completely transformed with a series of new galleries and exhibition spaces. The Box also features a striking elevated ‘archive in the sky’ with research and learning facilities, food, drink and retail spaces. It's also created a major new public square (Tavistock Place) for performances, events and artistic responses. 

Plymouth has a fascinating past and a dynamic present. The Box's collections, programmes and commissions share stories of international and local significance. We also give contemporary artists the opportunity to create new work that responds to our historic collections.

A visit to The Box is an incredible experience. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Our vision

To put arts and heritage at the heart of our city and of the South West, transforming people’s lives, creating a place and experience to share our rich and diverse collections and their stories with the world.

Our mission

To redefine the collections-based institution for the 21st century, expanding its horizons from local to global, placing collections, artists and audiences at its core.

Our values

  • Confidence to take risks and lead the way as a cultural entrepreneur, whilst also being receptive to shared conversations and collaborations.
  • Surprise to delight everyone with unexpected things and exciting encounters at every twist and turn. Big exhibits, little gems and thousands of experiences in-between.
  • Play to invite shared growth and personal development through unconventional discovery, diverse activities and creative experiences.
  • Intelligence to underpin everything we do with deep research, relentless questions and expertise to widen horizons.

Our board

  • Dafydd Moore, Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Plymouth
  • David Coslett, Independent
  • Deborah Smith, Director, Arts Council Collection
  • Hilary Lade, Independent
  • Kiran Haslam, Chief Marketing Officer, Princess Yachts
  • Councillor Nick Kelly, Leader of Plymouth City Council (Chair)
  • Nigel Godefroy, Director Longhouse Group
  • Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of the Opposition, Plymouth City Council (Vice-Chair)

Our supporters

Creating The Box and continuing to welcome visitors to engage with our collections, spaces and activities wouldn't be possible without the generous support of many valued partners, funders and supporters.

Our awards

To date, The Box has won or been nominated for the following awards:

  • Museums + Heritage Awards 2020 – Restoration/Conservation Project of the Year for the Royal Naval Ship’s Figureheads – Winner
  • Apollo Awards 2020 – Museum Opening of the Year – Nominee
  • British Guild of Travel Writers Awards 2020 – Best UK and Ireland Tourism Project for 'Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy' – Winner
  • iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards 2021 – Use of Digital and Technology for ‘The Box on The Box’ – Silver
  • National Campaign for the Arts' (NCA) Hearts For The Arts Awards 2021 – Best Arts Project – Nominee
  • Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West Civil Engineering Awards 2021 - People’s Choice - Shortlisted
  • Museums + Heritage Awards 2021 – UK Exhibition of the Year (Highly Commended) and Shop of the Year (Shortlisted)
  • Constructing Excellence South West Awards 2021 – Integration & Collaborative Working (Winner), Value (Highly Commended) and Conservation & Rejuvenation (Highly Commended)
  • Design Week Award 2021 – Exhibition Design – Shortlisted
  • Kids in Museums Family Friendly Awards 2021 – Medium Museum – Shortlisted
  • Michelmores Property Awards 2021 – Leisure & Tourism Project of the Year, Heritage Project of the Year and Building of the Year – Shortlisted
  • National Lottery Awards - Project of the Year for 'The Box on The Box' - Shortlisted

Equality, diversity and inclusion

The Box puts people at its heart, creating active participants, connecting people with their heritage and creativity, building pride and confidence. We are currently reviewing and updating our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to ensure that it's fit for purpose and rooted in good practice.

If The Box is to be truly ‘special for everyone’ then we have a responsibiity to not only have the best and most representative work across our galleries and programmes, but to also recognise that how we recruit staff, who our partners are, what we prioritise and how we exercise our influence, all have real impact and effect change.

We are committed to creating a culture in which all those who engage with us are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.

Anti-racism and Black Lives Matter

In a statement on 9 June 2020 about The Box's commitment to anti-racism, we undertook to communicate the ways in which we would make meaningful change in the fight against racism, through our galleries, exhibitions, events, learning offer and other areas across the organisation.

Working with artists

In our work with artists we innovate and offer fresh perspectives and connections between history and contemporary life.