Carpet connoisseurs to get museum at 19th century Kidderminster mill with £2 million grant

By Culture24 Staff
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A photo of men holding a plan
Trustees and project managers from the Kidderminster Carpet Trust take their plan to Stour Vale Mill in June 2007
A Grade II-listed 19th century mill will become an interactive museum, archive and library celebrating the carpet-making heritage of Kidderminster after a team of history lovers won a two-year battle to secure a £2 million Lottery grant.

The Kidderminster Carpet Trust said the award, which will see the former carpet factory turned into a two-floor centre spanning 14,000 square feet at Stour Vale Mill, was "the greatest compliment possible" for their project to honour the region's prolific textile specialism.

"The name Kidderminster is synonymous with excellence in the carpet industry across the world and it is right that Kidderminster should be the home of the carpet museum," said Mark Garnier, the MP for Wyre Forest.

"It will be a great boost to our town and our local tourist industry."

A photo of a wide brick building
The Mill is part of a Morrison supermarket
The Trust has been campaigning for a carpet museum in Kidderminster since 1981, securing initial backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund at the end of 2008.

Their displays will star a working power loom at the former carpet manufacturing site.

The Mill is part of a Morrison Supermarket, and has been the subject of more than £500,000 in refurbishment works paid for by the shopping giant.

"The Stour Vale Mill is an historic building and its use as a museum is most appropriate," said Trust Secretary Charles Talbot.

"This award is the greatest compliment possible to the work of the volunteer team who have seen the project through over many years, aided by excellent advisers."

HLF West Midlands boss Anne Jenkins said the museum could "act as a springboard" for conserving the town’s industrial and architectural heritage.

"We are delighted to be able to confirm the grant for this long-awaited and eagerly supported project," she added.

The development is expected to be completed with two years.
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