HLF awards £9m to heritage projects

Funding confirmed for two museum redevelopments and a vintage amusement park in Margate
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Rebecca Atkinson
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The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced £9m of funding for three heritage projects, including a museum redevelopment on the Isle of Lewis and the world’s first historic amusement park.

Lews Castle and Museum nan Eilean, in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, has ben awarded a grant of £4.6m to redevelop and conserve the castle to provide a new home for the museum’s collections. The project will for the first time establish an integrated museum and archive service for the Outer Hebrides.

A further £3m has been awarded for the restoration of Dreamland Margate in Kent, a 19th century pleasure garden and dance hall that later became a menagerie and roller skating rink.

The restored site, which will sit alongside Turner Contemporary, will include vintage rides collected from across the UK, the oldest surviving rollercoaster in the UK (pictured) and new learning and exhibition spaces.

Finally, funding of £1.4m has been confirmed for the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth to turn an 18th century storehouse into new gallery space for interactive displays and exhibitions.

Carole Souter, chief executive of HLF, said the projects would contribute to the UK’s heritage as well as the tourist industry.

“These projects have the potential to entertain, intrigue and delight. The HLF has made this substantial investment because we believe that enhancing these sorts of places is crucial to their long-term survival, and will provide important training and employment opportunities for local people.”

The Design Museum

Meanwhile, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has offered the Design Museum a short-term loan of £2.6m to help finance its £77m move from Shad Thames to the former Commonwealth Institute building on Kensington High Street.

Planning laws mean developers must demonstrate they have at least 70% of necessary development funds in place before they can start work.

The Design Museum’s planned move has received funding from HLF and the Conran Foundation, but most of this money is tied up in the museum's current building at Shad Thames and will not be released until the move completes.

Shad Thames, a former warehouse, has now been put up for sale through Cushman & Wakefield. The museum expects to relocate to Kensington in 2014.



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