Staff and volunteers are celebrating a £10.9million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) today (Thursday, 13th October).
The funding is a major milestone in Beamish’s history and it will help the museum create a range of new ways for people to experience the heritage of the North East, in a major project called ‘Remaking Beamish’. It is the largest single investment ever seen at Beamish.
The decision by the Heritage Lottery Fund means that work to deliver the Remaking Beamish project will now begin this winter. The project will add to the existing attractions at Beamish and will take around four years to be completed – the museum, in County Durham, will remain open for visitors throughout.
Beamish uses its outstanding collections to tell the story of everyday life in the North East. Over the past four years, buildings and thousands of objects have been added to the collections to prepare for the project to begin this year. Now, as part of the £18million scheme, over 30 new exhibits will be created across the museum site. Buildings from throughout the region will be moved or replicated and Beamish is working with communities to share their heritage (see a full list in Notes to Editors below).
The centrepiece will be a reconstructed 1950s Town – meaning that alongside existing attractions depicting life in the early 19th and 20th centuries, Beamish will once again include a period within living memory. Plans include a fully operational cinema moved brick by brick from Sunderland, as well as examples of shops and housing from across the North East region. The home and studio of Spennymoor artist Norman Cornish will be replicated. A block of Aged Miners’ Homes will be copied to create a pioneering centre for older people, including those living with dementia.
Beamish will also expand the stories that it already tells from the early 19th century as part of the project – including exhibits for people to stay overnight in the museum. Plans include reconstructing a “lost” coaching inn from the Great North Road near Scotch Corner on the A1 – which will be open for visitors during the day as well as offering overnight accommodation. Self-catering accommodation for families in 1950s pre-fabricated homes is also planned.
Alongside the reconstructed 1950s Town the museum will also show what life was like in rural areas in this period, by rebuilding a farm that has been collected from Weardale in County Durham. A 1950s trolleybus system and restored buses will transport visitors and a bus depot will help pass on heritage engineering skills.
For more information visit – http://www.beamish.org.uk/about/remak…