Leiston: Long Shop Museum restoration project is going well - but more help is still needed

A FUNDRAISING drive to help pay for a major restoration of one of Suffolk’s most important sites of industrial history is going from strength to strength.

But those behind the proposals for The Long Shop Museum in Leiston know there is still a long way to go. Trustees have now submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in a bid to secure a second round of funding, with a decision expected in early December.

In the meantime work will continue in an effort to raise money for the ambitious restoration project, which will catapult the popular museum into the 21st century. An appeal booklet - Fit for the Future - has been sent to individuals, companies and charitable trusts requesting their help.

In the museum’s autumn newsletter chairman of the trustees The Earl of Cranbrook said: “We are very grateful to all those who have responded to our appeal so far by supporting us with generous donations and agreeing to become COGS (Companions of Garrett Supporters) in the restoration project.” He said special thanks had to go to Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council - which recently allocated an extra �50,000 to the project on top of an initial �22,500 - for their continued support.

“We do still however have some considerable way to go to reach our target,” The Earl of Cranbrook added. “The trustees are hoping that their applications to some of the major national charitable foundations will be successful and they will be very grateful for any donations, however small, from anyone who feels they would like to contribute to this exciting project.”

The proposed scheme includes significant restoration work, improvements to the roof, better disabled access, a new lift and a revamp of exhibits. It will also create an important outreach and participation programme that will generate opportunities for people to become actively engaged in the museum – giving them the chance to discover their heritage and take ownership of it by helping to make decisions about its future. The Grade II*-listed Long Shop was the first purpose-built flow line assembly hall for portable steam engines in the world.

N As well as its regular attractions, extra activities have been planned for the half term. Today and tomorrow visitors can watch a blacksmith start to create a new sculpture for the car park, while on Wednesday there are steam traction engine family workshops at 10.30am and 1.15pm. The museum is open Monday – Friday from 10am to 5pm and will close at 1.30pm on Saturday. Admission fees apply.

Most Read

To support the restoration email restoration.longshop@gmail.com.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter