Wordsworth Trust gains approval for £6m revamp

Project will include the extension and refurbishment of the Wordsworth Museum
Elena Chabo
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The Wordsworth Trust has received planning approval from the Lake District National Park Authority for a proposed £6.2m development which will involve the conservation, adaptation and extension of the trust’s property across the hamlet of Town End in Grasmere, Cumbria.

The Reimagining Wordsworth project will centre around the extension and refurbishment of the Wordsworth Museum, located next to Dove Cottage, the home of William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy from 1799 till 1808.

The museum will gain a new orientation space, rooftop-viewing platform and level access to Dove Cottage Garden. It will also house a new shop, with plans to build a café on the site of the current shop and replace existing tearooms with a learning centre.

Purcell, the project’s architects, have also included a range of viewing points and improved visitor access to gardens and woodland in their designs, working closely with interpretation designers Nissen Richards Studio.

“Visitors will be able to explore all of these outdoor elements, as well as being taken through themes around his work and life within the new expanded museum,” said Pippa Nissen of Nissen Richards, adding: “we want the visitor to emotionally connect to the poetry, and be inspired by the landscape.”

Michael McGregor, the director of the Wordsworth Trust, said: “I’m delighted that the Lake District National Park Authority has approved our plans for Reimagining Wordsworth. We are a step closer to realising our ambition, which is to bring Wordsworth’s poetry and legacy alive for more people.”

The Trust secured first round approval for a £4.75m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in February 2016. Work is expected to begin in spring next year. The trust aims to be complete the project by Spring 2020 in time for Wordsworth’s 250th anniversary.

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