Museum clears cash bid hurdle

A MAJOR project which aims to establish an Alnwick attraction as a must-see tourist destination has moved a step closer after a lottery funding body gave its initial support to the plans.

Leaders of the Bailiffgate Museum – Heritage at the heart of the Community bid are celebrating after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) agreed to give the exciting proposals a first round pass, endorsing the outline bid.

Development funding of £9,100 has also been awarded to help those behind the initiative progress plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

Tom Pattinson, chairman of trustees at the museum, said: “We are delighted that the HLF has given us this support. Is is a major hurdle that we have overcome and everything is starting to take off for us. The Bailiffgate Museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and it is great to know that we are a step nearer to creating an even more interesting and engaging museum for future generations.”

The ambitious scheme aims to present both the rich heritage of Alnwick and district and the museum’s extensive collection in new and exciting ways, as well as encouraging more people from the area to enjoy them and get involved. This will also mean going out into communities and working with people on projects about their own heritage.

The museum is hoping to use digital technology to ensure that its photographic collection is accessible and to help gather and preserve oral and digital records of people’s stories, traditions, arts, crafts and ways of life for the future.

Plans are also in the pipeline to create a small local history resource centre within the attraction so that people can research family history and their heritage.

The project will involve the attraction’s volunteers at all stages and aims to establish it as a people’s museum, which is an excellent resource for communities and schools and a must-see tourist destination. The plans have been the subject of extensive consultation with stakeholders, communities and organisations throughout the district.

Ivor Crowther, the head of HLF North East, said: “The Bailiffgate Museum provides a great insight into the varied heritage of the local area. We at the HLF are pleased to support the museum and help bring their vision a step closer to reality.

“There is still work to be done in developing the project but HLF will be offering their full support in taking their application further.”