Pounds 500,000 Grant to Set Up New Museum for Romantic Works

Article excerpt

CHRIS SMITH, Secretary of State for Culture, yesterday indulged one of his private passions when he went to the Lake District to announce a pounds 500,000 grant to the Wordsworth Trust.

Mr Smith, who studied Wordsworth as part of his PhD,said he was particularly pleased that the grant, from the Jerwood Foundation, would help the trust build a museum to house its increasingly large collection of poetry.

The Wordsworth Trust, Centre for British Romanticism, holds 50,000 manuscripts, paintings, books and memorabilia relating to the great British poets. The trust, based in Grasmere, Cumbria, with Wordsworth's home, Dove Cottage, at its centre, has become an important resource for students and poetry- lovers all over the world.

In the past 20 years the collection has grown fourfold and, with acquisitions still being made, the need to rehouse and conserve has become pressing, said a trust spokesman. "We have 90 per cent of everything Wordsworth ever did as well as a large amount of work by the other Romantic poets, including Coleridge, Byron and Shelley . …