Museum Seeks Funding For Expansion Plan

The Black Country Museum is attempting to secure funding for a multi-million pound expansion plan.

On Thursday, bosses submitted a first round bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £9.8m to complete Phase One of their Masterplan for the next 40 years.

If the bid is successful, the Phase One project entitled 'BCLM: Forging Ahead' will see the museum create a brand new visitor centre and car park, as well as of a 1940s – 60s historic development in the heart of the site.

Heritage Lottery Fund applications are assessed in two rounds, and if successful, this first stage of the project (which is financially supported in principle by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership) will allow staff to carry out significant historic research and detailed planning proposals in order to complete a second round bid in December 2018.

Several buildings at risk of demolition from across the Black Country have already been identified to be translocated to the Museum site as part of the project. There are also plans to turn the current Rolfe Street Entrance Building into a new learning centre. Chief Executive, Andrew Lovett, said:

“We are delighted to be in a position to submit this funding bid which has been three years in the making. If successful, this development will be a significant one and will allow us to complete the Museum’s story.

"We want to expand and improve our visitors’ experience, enable more people to understand the true significance of the Black Country’s heritage and in doing so, play a major role in the wider regeneration of Dudley by increasing our visitor numbers from 300,000 to 500,000 per year.”

The museum will find out whether they've been successful in Spring 2017 and, if so, will work towards submitting a second round bid in October 2018. This will mark the 40th anniversary of the attraction which first opened in 1978 and has seen almost 9 million visitors walk through the doors since.


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