Sleaford Museum Trust wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
Today Sleaford Museum Trust has received £94,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to establish a local history museum from a noble town toilet block, in Sleaford.
The £104,000 project is led entirely by volunteers from the local community and the museum will tell the story of Sleaford and its district through the historic artefacts that have been presented to the Trust over a period of many years.
This HLF award was due to the enthusiastic community support shown by the Sleaford Town Council, which has been working closely with the Museum Trust on this project. Funding support has also been received from the NKDC ‘fundnk’, LARC, Sleaford Town Fund, Eco 2 Power Station Fund, and Kesteven Rotary.
The site is the redundant toilet block in Monument Gardens on Southgate, leased to the Trust by the Town Council, which will be converted to the Town Museum following a separate project by the Town Council to provide a single unisex public toilet at the other end of the building.
It is planned that the building works will start in February, with the new toilet being ready by the end of March. The museum conversion will start in April and the museum opening is planned for January 2015.
In addition to displaying, cataloguing and conserving the historic collection, the museum’s goal is to foster closer ties with all the local schools and with many of the community groups. Education and training opportunities will be central to the new facility, and with the support and enthusiasm of local people, the museum will become an important contribution to the town’s heritage economy.
The collection began to be formed in the 1970’s, when local enthusiasts first recognised the historic significance of many of the town’s artefacts that had survived the centuries. Since then, the archive has led a wandering life, while its guardians searched for the permanent home that has now been found.
The Museum Trust Chairman, David Marriage, welcomed the news of this major award. ‘We are proud to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund’, he said, ‘and are confident that an important new chapter in Sleaford’s story has now begun. We look forward particularly to working more closely with the local schools, and with young people seeking to enhance their understanding and skills.’
Explaining the importance of this new project, Vanessa Harbar, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said ‘Sleaford has an important history and this project involves innovative ways for celebrating it through the re-use of a redundant building. It has been put together by committed volunteers and is strongly supported by the local community. We wish you every success.’
Keep up to date with Sleaford Museum Trust’s building developments by visiting http://www.sleafordmuseum.org.uk/