Updated Monday 3rd December 2007
Museum Awarded £1m
Hertford Museum staff, trustees, volunteers and supporters have been on tenter hooks for the last month as they waited to hear whether their application for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for £985,000 towards their development project was successful.
On the evening of 27th of November, Helen Gurney, the museum Curator received the news that they had been waiting for. Helen said, "This is such great news! Our museum now enters a new and exciting era, where we can all look forward to a better museum for everyone!"
The grant will help the museum achieve its aims of encouraging more people to learn, enjoy and have access to the heritage of Hertford through:
- a completely revamped first floor which will enable more of the collections on display to tell the story of our town and its history
- a new lift to allow access for all
- a new ground floor 'resource room' where visitors can access our diverse and rich paper collections
- a new 3 year full time 'Learning Officer' post to widen learning opportunities in the museum and with our amazing collections
- a new learning space on the ground floor
The HLF grant will also enable Hertford Museum to carry out a number of improvements, including conserving and improving the historic Bull Plain building.
Robyn Llewellyn, Heritage Lottery Fund Manager in the East of England comments; "This major lottery boost will enable Hertford Museum to greatly improve it's exhibition spaces and visitor facilities, benefiting people for miles around. What is already a popular and important visitor attraction will become a landmark local museum, bringing the past to life for everyone to explore and enjoy."
The museum has successfully raised £100,000 through individual and organisation donations (including £45,000 from East Herts Council and £10,000 from Hertford Civic Society) and fundraising events, but still needs to raise a further £100,000 to enable them to achieve all the aims of the wider development project.
Helen adds, "We are hoping that local people and businesses will now see how serious we are about our development project with this huge investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and help us to raise the required funds to ensure its success."
The new Learning Officer will start work in the spring of 2008 and the Museum will close its doors in September 2008 for one year, whilst all the improvements take place, and will re-open to the public in late 2009. During closure, the Museum hopes to do a number of outreach activities in various venues in and around the town. The Museum also hopes to rent a shop premises in the town centre so that we can keep the local community updated with our project.