Cynon Valley Museum to reopen after HLF boost

Lucy Alderson, 20.04.2016
Museum closed for two years due to council funding cuts
Cynon Valley Museum and Art Gallery in south Wales is set to reopen after receiving a £62,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The museum has been closed for two years after losing local authority funding. Rhondda Cynon Taf council has transferred responsibility for the museum to the newly formed Cynon Valley Museum Trust, a community venture set up by local campaigners to save the facility.

The grant from HLF's Transition Fund was secured by the council on behalf of the trust. The process of appointing new staff for the museum is already underway.

The trust has also secured funding for the museum from Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the Welsh Church Act and business sponsorships.

Trustees, who have organised open days for Cynon Valley once a month with the council to preserve its Accreditation, are excited that the museum has been saved, according to Dinah Pye, chairwoman of Cynon Valley Museum Trust.

“We couldn’t have done it without this funding,” she said. “We’ll now be able to keep the museum’s collections in Cynon Valley.”

Councillor Joy Rosser, a council cabinet member for safer communities, libraries and heritage, said the HLF funding was exciting news.

“By working with the trust and offering support, such as securing funding on their behalf, we have been able to ensure a well-loved attraction is not only reopened for all to enjoy, but is taken forward in an exciting new direction for the future,” said Rosser.

Other HLF grants

A number of other museums also secured HLF grants this month. The Museum of Carpet in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, was awarded a £49,000 Transition Fund grant to hire two more staff members for the museum. The museum exhibits the local carpet and textile industry.

Manchester Museum received a Heritage Grant for just over £400,000 to improve facilities. Plans to build a temporary exhibition space, a permanent South Asia Gallery and a new entrance are underway.

Bridport Museum, which charts the historic rope and net industry in Bridport, Dorset, received a £841,000 Heritage Grant for repairs and restorations to be made to the museum.
 
The Gilbert White and the Oates Collections in Selbourne was awarded nearly £1.7m in order to restore its stable yard and brew-house, and enable its previously inaccessible library to open to the public.
 
The Whitehall Museum in Cheam village, Surrey, secured £1.5m to repair and redevelop the 500-year old Tudor building. Two extensions will be built to improve visitor accessibility.

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