The Heritage Lottery Fund has provided £98m to nine heritage sites, with a focus on projects to preserve Britain’s rich scientific and technology history, in the hope that it will inspire young people to take a greater interest in science and technology.
- Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, home to the Grade I-listed Lovell telescope and the only remaining site in the world to showcase the entire story of the development of radio astronomy, will receive £12.1m towards a new exhibition pavilion to explain the role that Jodrell Bank has played in international scientific development. There will also be a new volunteer and skills development programmes, and an initiative to reach an additional 6,000 school visitors each year.
Professor Brian Cox, the physicist and TV presenter, said “The rich scientific history of the UK is a key part of our culture and Jodrell Bank is the standout icon of UK science and engineering. When I was young, visiting Jodrell Bank was one of the things that inspired me to become a scientist. This new project will inspire many more young people to carry on our great tradition of science and engineering.”
- The Science Museum in London, which houses the world’s largest medical collection will receive £8m for a major redevelopment of its medicine galleries. It has plans to display 3,000 objects showing the transformation in medicine and health over 500 years, with personal stories and testimonials. Work is due to be completed in 2019.
- Lincoln Cathedral, which is the only cathedral in England considered to be ‘at risk’, is being given £12.4m to pay for urgent repairs. The funding will also pay for the creation of a new interpretation centre and to implement plans to double school numbers and broaden the range of visitors.
- £11m has been awarded to East London’s Geffrye Museum. Housed in 300-year-old almshouses near Hoxton Station, the museum specialises in the history of English dwellings, with period-themed rooms dating from the 1600’s to the present day. The influx of capital will be used to open up sections of the building previously inaccessible to the public, to house new collections, as well as the construction of a new entrance to the museum from Hoxton Station, and the opening of a café.
- The British Museum will receive £9.6m to digitize the nation’s “rare, unique and most vulnerable” sound recordings, and make them accessible online. Examples of these recordings are interviews with child refugees from Nazi Germany, audio catalogues of the birdsong of species that have since become extinct, accents and dialects unique to the British Isles, and early recordings of British jazz and skiffle.
- The Derby Silk Mill’s Museum of Making, which stands of the location of the world’s first fully automated mechanised factory, is to receive £9.3m. The grant allows, for the first time, the city’s complete collection of industrial artefacts – including iconic Derby items such as Rolls-Royce engines and Silk Motorcycles – will be on display to the public under one roof.
- The Great Central Railway is being awarded £10m to create a new heritage railway museum in Leicester.
- Dorset County Museum is receiving £10.4m to help towards a planned expansion to house its collection of natural, geological and social history artifacts, as well as items from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site. It’s social history collection includes the red dress owned by Thomas Hardy’s sister Kate, thought to be the inspiration for the one described in ‘Tess of the d’Urbevilles’.
- The Burrell Collection in Glasgow opened in 1983, and houses more than 8,000 objects gifted to the people of the city by Sir William Burrell, including paintings, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics and stained glass. The Collection is one of Glasgow’s cultural jewels, however the building is said to be no longer fit for purpose, with only 20% of the collection on display as many items have had to be removed to protect them from damage.
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland said “The Burrell Collection was one of the greatest gifts ever given to a city and the seed that helped Glasgow grow into the thriving cultural centre it is today. We are delighted to support plans to breathe new life into it so that it can continue to be a place of joy and inspiration for local, national and international visitors for many years to come.” A new roof and high performance glazing will make the museum more energy efficient, and two new floors of exhibition space will be created, so that 90% of the collection can be displayed to the public. The remaining items housed in the basement stores will be opened to public access, and the addition of a new entrance, café and learning spaces will complete the transformation.
The collection will close next year and reopen in 2019 when work is complete.