National Railway Museum loses lottery funding bid

Patrick Steel, 01.05.2018
£13.4m bid to redevelop Great Hall and build interactive Wonderlab rejected
The National Railway Museum (NRM) in York has had a £13.4m bid to redevelop its Great Hall and build an interactive Wonderlab rejected by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

“The major grants board meeting considered a number of highly competitive applications,” said an HLF spokeswoman. “We were unable to support all the funding applications we received.”

The decision is a further blow to the NRM following its unsuccessful bid in 2011 to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for £7m funding to redevelop the Great Hall.

The NRM’s director Judith McNicol said the museum is still planning the redevelopment as part of its £50m overhaul of the museum to fit in with the surrounding York Central redevelopment.

“While we are disappointed to receive the news that our Stage One bid to the HLF for £13.4m to redevelop the Great Hall and create a new Open Store and Wonderlab was not successful, we remain completely committed to our vision,” she said.

“Alongside telling epic stories, we have a vital role to play in engaging the next generation of engineers and helping to plug the skills gap through inspiring young minds.

“We will now take some time to review the phasing for the projects that form our vision and how these best fit with the exciting plans for York Central.

“I am very optimistic about the opportunities for other funding given the enthusiasm that has been shown for our vision.

“We will provide further updates as our plans progress.”

The NRM’s bid was one of 12 applications, and the HLF will be informing other applicants of its decision over the next fortnight.

The only successful application to be announced so far is Newport City Council’s bid for £9.7m for the Newport Transporter Bridge; the HLF has awarded the council £1m in development funding to progress its bid.

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