Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boost for Local Museum; Lottery Grant Comes on 10th Anniversary

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boost for Local Museum; Lottery Grant Comes on 10th Anniversary

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor ? 0191 201 6224 ?

AVOLUNTEER-RUN museum is set to reach out to its rural community with the backing of lottery finance.

The Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery in Alnwick in Northumberland has been awarded PS308,500 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The cash comes as the museum marks its 10th anniversary this year. It will help fund a project which will rejuvenate the museum and its current collections, and see it working with 10 communities on local history ventures.

The "Bailiffgate - at the Heart of the Community" project was born after widespread consultation with local people who raised concerns that knowledge of traditional skills, customs and the area's unique dialect were at risk of being lost if action wasn't taken.

Based in the former St Mary's Church and whose patron is the Duke of Northumberland, the museum is run by around 40 volunteers. The lottery cash will see a reorganisation of displays and exhibits, and a comprehensive archive of hundreds of local historic photographs collected over more than 40 years by museum president Adrian Ions will be digitised to make them more accessible.

"We are over the moon with this award.

We couldn't have asked for anything more," said Adrian.

Volunteers will also visit communities to record oral history and find out what aspect of local history and heritage residents want to see highlighted. Museum trustees chairman Tom Pattinson said: "We held open weekends and asked the public to be critical friends.

"We asked what they wanted to see and what they wanted recording from their communities."

Ideas for projects in Alnwick include one called If These Stones Could Talk, on the stories behind historic buildings and the history of an a individual street.

The museum, which attracts around 10,000 visitors a year, is also used as a centre for meetings and functions.

"We are absolutely delighted to have received this funding from HLF, which enables us to turn our exciting plans for the future into a reality. …

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