Luton’s much loved Wardown Park Museum is one step closer to funding its ambitious conservation project– as it was awarded £1.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The cash injection puts the museum just £200,000 short of its £3.5 million target– a fund which will be used to restore the building and furnish it to create the look and feel of a wealthy family home in the Victorian period.
Grand plans for the museum include a new cafe and an art gallery which will be located in the estate’s morning room.
Costumed tours, talks and special events will also be staged with the help of volunteers in the Museum Makers project.
The museum is likely to close while the works are carried out and it is hoped that the restoration will commence in April and conclude next autumn.
In July the park’s rich history was further boosted by the reopening of the 107-year-old suspension bridge, which was closed to the public in 2012.
Karen Perkins, director of arts and museums, said: “It is fantastic to receive the grant and have the backing of Heritage Lottery Fund for the proposed redevelopment plans for Wardown Park Museum.
“Museum Makers have been instrumental in their support and contribution to our development plans for Wardown Park Museum and we hope to continue to work collaboratively with more Museum Makers in the future.”
Robyn Llewellyn, head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, added: “We’re delighted to support this project which, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, will transform Wardown Park Museum into a wonderful heritage attraction for Luton.”