Museums Sheffield has successfully applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the first phase of funding to improve and develop Weston Park museum.
The first-round pass of almost £50,000 will allow Museums Sheffield to draw up detailed plans for a programme of work including consultation with visitors to the museum, proposals to re-design galleries and displays, and the development of ideas to show off more of Sheffield’s archaeology, natural sciences, social history and visual art collections. If the plans for the re-development project, entitled Weston Park: A Bright Future, are approved by the HLF, the second stage of the funding process will see up to £697,000 awarded in order for work to begin at the museum in 2015.
Weston Park museum re-opened to the public in 2006 following a fundamental re-development partly funded by a £17 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant with significant support from Sheffield City Council. Since re-opening, the museum has established itself as a firm favourite in the city, attracting over 250,000 visitors a year and winning the Guardian Newspaper Family Friendly Museum of the Year award. Though the museum has sustained high numbers of visitors since 2006, significant improvements to the public-facing areas of the museum are now needed.
Kim Streets, Chief Executive, said: ‘This is fantastic news for Sheffield. Weston Park is a great example of a museum which works for its community and much has been achieved since 2006. It’s now time to take stock of the lessons we’ve learnt, build on that success, and ensure the museum is fit to delight and inspire visitors for another 10 years’
Councillor Isobel Bowler, City Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, said: ‘I am delighted that Museums Sheffield has been successful in this first round funding bid. Weston Park is one of the city’s most popular museums and the proposed redesign will make it even better. The Council is committed to our partnership with and funding of Museums Sheffield and I wish the team well in the next stage of the funding round’
Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and The Humber, said: ‘This project is seeking to encourage local people to engage more fully with their heritage through an enhanced experience for museum visitors. We look forward to receiving the detailed plans to achieve this.’
Image © Andy Brown
Dec 11 2013