Museum secures Heritage Lottery Fund support for new chapter
The Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington has secured £71,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to guarantee a major £100,000 redevelopment of the museum which will include the creation of Britain’s only Luddite Exhibition.
The funding will also support a new school’s resource which will explore this period of revolt and also address contemporary issues as diverse as gang culture, criminal damage and working conditions in ‘sweatshops’.
The Heritage Lottery funding will enable the museum to improve the authenticity of the historic site, create new exhibition spaces and develop an innovative new educational resource for schools. Thanks to this funding, visitors will gain greater insight into the poverty and living conditions of the Framework Knitters and how this led to a protest movement called ‘Luddism’, which originated in Nottinghamshire and spread across the manufacturing towns and cities of 19th century Britain. Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in an interactive film in which they will face the same dilemmas as the frameworkers tempted to revolt and make decisions which will shape the story.
Paul Baker, the Museum Manager, said:
“this funding will enable us to make a real difference. Not only will we be able to tell more stories about the workers and the trade but also to use the story of the Luddite uprising to encourage school pupils to consider contemporary issues such as gangs and criminal damage from a Victorian perspective. This investment will transform the museum experience for visitors and how we work with young people”. The work will be completed by next summer but improvements will begin immediately and visitors will see small changes throughout the year.
Vanessa Harbar, Acting Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands said about the project:
“Visitors to the museum will gain new insights into early industrialisation and its harsher social consequences. The emphasis on working with schools will provide young people with valuable opportunities, within an authentic historical setting, to compare a range of past and contemporary issues.”