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Stowmarket: Museum of East Anglian Life gets £100,000 sustainability loan says director

PUBLISHED: 08:55 20 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:55 20 March 2014

The team at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket

The team at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket

Archant

One of Suffolk’s biggest tourist attractions has received a major boost with a £100,000 loan to increase its sustainability, the EADT understands.

The Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL), in Stowmarket, has been promised the money by Mid Suffolk District Council, according to its interim director Nick Winterbotham.

The money would be on top of the existing £20,000 a-year it receives from the authority.

District council leader Derrick Haley said the museum is a key part to the area’s economy.

He said: “There is no way we would not support MEAL – it’s an important asset to Stowmarket.

“We would not in any shape or form not support it because it’s an integral part of the economy.

“We would not wish to see anything happen to MEAL that would be to the detriment of the Stowmarket area.”

Mr Winterbotham said it was the museum’s level of engagement with the community which meant it continued to have the support of the council which “believes in what it does”.

“We completely welcome that level of support and long may it last and long may we supply something that is of value in the same way,” he said.

“They are being really supportive. I guess it relates to having a long-term relationship. We see all councils as being a partner, as much a part of what they do and what we do.”

He said the museum would remain a charity but would become more business focused to generate more turnover.

The museum is currently going thought a transition period, which means it is likely to see its council grants reduced in the future, he added.

Bosses at the 75-acre heritage site are working to broaden the appeal of the museum by putting on major events and enabling it to host weddings.

The loan can begin to be paid back after two years, Mr Winterbotham said.

On Sunday it will host Stowmarket Day, where visitors can enter at the equivalent price to that of a 1967 ticket.

The Orwell Bridge has reopened following a serious crash this morning where a man was killed.

A man has died after a crash involving a tractor on the A14 Orwell Bridge this morning, police have confirmed. The bridge has remained closed since the incident but is expected to reopen before 2.30pm.

Gale force winds are set to batter parts of Suffolk and north Essex tomorrow as a ‘weather bomb’ brought by Storm Brian sparks a series of safety warnings.

Childhood obesity is on the rise in Suffolk and Essex, with almost one in 10 reception pupils hitting dangerously fat levels.

The term Jabadao won’t mean much to most people. But for one Ipswich pre-school, it is transforming child development.

Tourists have been flocking to a tiny village on the Essex coastline after its stunning landscapes were filmed for a hit ITV drama series.

A popular Ipswich park event scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled due to fears over high winds that Storm Brian is forecast to bring to Suffolk.

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