The Magna Carta memorial in Runnymede. Image: Andrew Butler

Magna Carta site to benefit from latest round of HLF funding

Robert Picheta, 24.07.2018
Two museums in north Wales also get funding boost
The site of the Magna Carta’s sealing at Runnymede, Surrey and a new cultural centre in Kent named after a suffragette are among the latest beneficiaries of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

A £1.6m grant will enable Runnymede and the adjacent historical site of Ankerwycke, which are run by the National Trust, to be connected with better pathways and a new ferry crossing on the River Thames.

Trails and an improved towpath along the river are also included in the plans, which will improve access to public artworks on the site.

The site marks the sealing of the Magna Carta by King John in 1215, while Ankerwycke, across the river, is home to the National Trust’s oldest tree, a 2,500-year-old yew.

The National Trust is seeking a further £300,000 through donations to fully implement its plans for the development, which will cost £2.1m in total.

Ros Kerslake, the chief executive of the HLF, said: “There are few places in the UK that rival Runnymede in terms of its profound influence on our national heritage.

“Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, these thoughtful and sensitive improvements will enhance this special place for everyone to enjoy.”

Meanwhile, plans for the Amelia Scott cultural centre in Tunbridge Wells, Kent were unveiled last week after the site received £4.3m in HLF funding, making up around a third of its expected cost of £13.2m.

Named after a locally-born campaigner for women’s suffrage, the centre will include a museum, art gallery and learning centre when it opens in the summer of 2021.

In Scotland, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ Museum at Stirling Castle received almost £1m. The grant is the most significant contribution to the museum’s Thin Red Line Appeal, which has been seeking £4m to cover the ongoing development of the site.

Lucy Casot, the head of the HLF in Scotland, said: “This award marks a key change for the Argyll and Sutherland Museum.
“Thanks to players of the National Lottery, current cramped conditions will be replaced with bright, contemporary displays. Better access will allow many more people to visit.”

In north Wales, Llandudno Museum was awarded £862,000 to help build a temporary exhibition gallery and Penmaenmawr Museum received  £248,600 to refit its displays and open a Post Office-themed tearoom and new shop.

Other grant recipients include Oxford’s Story Museum, which received just over £1m towards its ambitious £6m development scheme, including the creation of 10 gallery spaces and a 120-seat theatre. Thurrock Museum in Essex received £10,000 to help catalogue a series of artefacts.

Meanwhile, plans to redevelop Poole Museum in Dorset and the Whitaker museum and art gallery in Rossendale, north-west England, moved a step closer, after local councils agreed to submit multi-million pound bids for HLF funding.

The upcoming 16 August deadline for applications will mark the final round of Heritage Grants before the HLF launches its new funding framework in January 2019.


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Jonathan Gammond
Access , Wrexham County Borough Museum
25.07.2018, 18:59
Congratulations to Lynn Podmore, Museum Development Officer at Conwy County Borough Council for progressing the Llandudno bid to a successful conclusion. Until she came on board, the 'ship' was taking on water rather than steaming ahead.

Congratulations also to Derek, Anne and the team at Penmaenmawr Museum. it is a fascinating village, that too many roar by in a rush to visit Anglesey or the Llyn, and the old post office will make a great museum once it has had its revamp. I wonder if they will accept old 'postal orders' in payment.