Woodhorn Museum: Northumberland attraction grateful for £200,000 of ‘lifeline’ funding for urgent repairs

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Nearly £200,000 of public money has been pledged to help Woodhorn Museum in Ashington undergo urgent maintenance work.

The museum, located in a former colliery and pit village, says the funding is needed to replace failing infrastructure in its historic buildings.

It has been awarded a £150,000 share of the government’s Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND), which will be matched by almost £46,000 from Northumberland County Council.

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Chief executive at Museums Northumberland, the charity responsible for the museum, Rowan Brown said: “We are delighted to receive this vital funding which will restore the crucial heating, access and sewage systems at Woodhorn Museum.

Woodhorn Museum in Ashington is a museum, heritage colliery site, and the home of the Northumberland Archives.Woodhorn Museum in Ashington is a museum, heritage colliery site, and the home of the Northumberland Archives.
Woodhorn Museum in Ashington is a museum, heritage colliery site, and the home of the Northumberland Archives.

“We are extremely grateful to Arts Council England, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Northumberland County Council for this financial support.

“It is nigh on impossible to secure funds for these unglamorous, but essential works. The MEND fund truly is a lifeline for civic museums like ours.”

Boiler, heating, ventilation, and sewage systems will be revamped with the funding, improving the museum’s energy efficiency and opening up new event and exhibition spaces.

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Repairs to a lift will also be funded, restoring the accessibility of part of the museum.

This is the second round of MEND funding since the £86.6m fund was launched, with £21.4m handed to 36 organisations this year.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “This investment will help to level up access to arts and culture for everyone, no matter where they live.

“Culture helps us create lifelong memories with our families and friends, provides entertainment and joy, and allows us to explore the world around us in new and exciting ways. It can also boost tourism, support local business and drive local economic growth.

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“This funding will support brilliant arts organisations to upgrade their venues and create new projects that will be at the heart of their communities.”

Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England added: “Investment in creativity and culture is a catalyst for improving well-being and raising aspirations, reinvigorating pride in communities, regenerating high streets and local economies, and bringing people together.

“It will support recovery and growth and unlock the creative potential of those who live and work in communities across England.”