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Lottery grant for Wycombe Museum relocation
THE scheme to move Wycombe Museum into Wycombe District Council’s headquarters has been given a boost after a £77,000 award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The grant will be used to design and plan the museum’s relocation from its Priory Avenue base to a ground-floor section of the council’s Queen Victoria Road HQ, which is currently used by Thames Valley Police.
The building will be extended out into the southern gardens on the council land to incorporate a cafe and shop to help boost revenue.
The council is also confident of landing a second round grant from the lottery fund to help pay for the project, estimated to cost £2m.
WDC’s Cabinet agreed on Tuesday night to make arrangements for an independent trust to manage the Museum and Arts Development Service.
The trust will take over the day-to-day running of the museum in a move to save the council money; with the current museum building - which has been home to Wycombe’s heritage for 50 years - to be sold off.
Cllr Katrina Wood, WDC’s Cabinet member for Community, said: “We’ve been looking long and hard to find a way to make our museum sustainable and fit for the future.
“We are determined to keep the local museum run by local people – one which not only reflects, but also plays an active part in local life, culture and heritage.
“This is great news and means we can now start working towards planning not only a new location but a new way to deliver this service within our community.”
The museum’s manager Richard de Peyer said there is a “buzz about the place” and revealed the launch of a new volunteering project.
Residents are being sought to photograph and record every artefact in the museum’s stores for planning new exhibitions and storylines, and to ensure nothing is missed out for the move to its new centre in 2014.
To volunteer your services call the museum on 01494 421867.