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‘The hard work starts here’ - Suffolk museum set for major face-lift with £745k Lottery cash

PUBLISHED: 14:12 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:12 24 July 2018

Aldeburgh Museum curator Catherine Howard-Dobson with local children  vy and Archie Hill and their favourite items from the museum, two flint hand-axes Picture: ALDEBURGH MUSEUM

Aldeburgh Museum curator Catherine Howard-Dobson with local children vy and Archie Hill and their favourite items from the museum, two flint hand-axes Picture: ALDEBURGH MUSEUM

Aldeburgh Museum

A Suffolk museum is set to achieve its vision of a “modern and progressive” heritage site after winning £745,000 in Lottery funding.

An impression of what the council chambers in the first floor of the Moot Hall would look like under Aldeburgh Museum's improvement plan Picture: HUDSON ARCHITECTSAn impression of what the council chambers in the first floor of the Moot Hall would look like under Aldeburgh Museum's improvement plan Picture: HUDSON ARCHITECTS

The team at Aldeburgh Museum is celebrating the culmination of nearly four years’ hard work after being awarded the full regeneration grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The funding will allow remodelling of the museum, which is housed in the 16th century timber-framed Moot Hall, and the introduction of modern interpretative techniques, such as digital displays. Project backers say it will help the museum tell its story of the Suffolk coast in a facility “fit for the 21st century”.

Tony Bone, chairman of the museum’s trustees, thanked his fellow volunteers for their “invaluable contributions, commitment and above all for their unwavering belief in our project”. “With the Lottery funding we can turn our vision of a modern, progressive, local museum into reality,” he added. “The hard work starts here but for now this is a moment to savour.”

Mr Bone also thanked the museum’s partner, Aldeburgh Town Council, and their supporters for helping prepare the funding application, as well as businesses and organisations which have donated.

Celebrations after stage one of the application was approved, L-R, town clerk Ruth Proctor, Aldeburgh mayor John Digby and chairman of museum trustees Tony Bone Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCelebrations after stage one of the application was approved, L-R, town clerk Ruth Proctor, Aldeburgh mayor John Digby and chairman of museum trustees Tony Bone Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Aldeburgh mayor John Digby said “This is a terrific boost for the museum, the Moot Hall, and the town as a whole. The town council is looking forward to continuing a good working relationship with the museum to ensure the redevelopment creates a facility fit for the 21st century and beyond”.

As part of the refurbishment, the Council Chamber, which is thought to be one of the UK’s longest serving centres for local governance, will undergo a major face-lift, while retaining its historic significance. The Museum hopes it will enable the story of Aldeburgh to be told in a “new dynamic way” using digital and conventional techniques.

Work will take place over autumn and winter before the museum reopens in late spring.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF East of England, said: “It is exciting that, thanks to National Lottery players, complete redisplay of this museum in the heart of Aldeburgh will tell new stories about the town, captivating everyone who visits.”

Visit Moot Hall Project for more details.

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