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Museum awarded £50,000 to support transformation plans

PUBLISHED: 09:34 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:34 20 March 2019

Jenny Cousins, Museum of East Anglian Life director, with councillors Nick Gowrley and Gerard Brewster Picture: MUSEUM OF EAST ANGLIAN LIFE

Jenny Cousins, Museum of East Anglian Life director, with councillors Nick Gowrley and Gerard Brewster Picture: MUSEUM OF EAST ANGLIAN LIFE

© Museum of East Anglian Life

A Stowmarket museum is celebrating after being awarded a total of £50,000 in grants to support plans for an ambitious transformation over the next ten years.

Museum of East Anglian Life Picture: GREGG BROWNMuseum of East Anglian Life Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Museum of East Anglian Life has been awarded £35,000 from Mid Suffolk District Council and £15,000 from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) towards commissioning a new business plan for the popular attraction.

Jenny Cousins, the museum’s director, said the funding will enable the museum to become a “leading visitor destination” in the region.

“This very welcome funding will give us the information and support we need to transform the site into a leading visitor destination, building on recent investment in new exhibits which celebrate the region’s food heritage,” she said.

“We have a fabulous 75-acre site in the heart of mid Suffolk and are keen to make the best use of it for visitors, local people and businesses.”

Nick Gowrley, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: ‘The Museum of East Anglian Life is a key asset for mid Suffolk and generates economic and social benefits for local people.

“It’s a green space in the centre of Stowmarket and a much-loved place visited by generations of local families. This investment in its future will enable the museum to realise its full potential.”

Gerard Brewster, cabinet member for economy, said: ‘The museum is an anchor business for mid Suffolk, bringing visitors into the area where they spend in our shops.

“It’s important that we invest in the assets that generate wider benefits and effectively spread the impact of our support.”

There will be an opportunity for people to input into the museum’s plans when the business plan is commissioned at an open evening on Wednesday, April 24, from 6pm-8pm.

Chris Dashper, head of programmes at New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: ‘We are very supportive of the museum’s plans.

“Our region excels in food and to be able to showcase our heritage, expertise, food science and innovations are exciting prospects.

“The A14 corridor is a priority area for growth and the museum’s ambitious and exciting aspirations to grow and innovate are much welcomed as they could create new jobs, attract more visitors, and have educational and social benefits.”

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