The British Museum has secured a £10m Lottery investment with a further £5.5m going towards three other heritage projects across the UK.
The Heritage Lottery Fund’s grant will enable The British Museum to complete the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre in the North West part of its current site in central London.
Alongside a high-quality exhibition space, the centre will comprise science laboratories, conservation studios and state-of-the-art storage facilities.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund’s grant for the WCEC will have a dramatic impact upon the British Museum’s facilities for conservation, scientific research, storage and loans,” says Dame Jenny Abramsky.
“It [the centre] will vastly improve the British Museum’s ability to care for the most fragile parts of its collections in the best possible conditions and will get more people involved in its work.”
Second of four HLF grants to be announced is for £3.94m to Scotland and the Battle of Bannockburn project to commemorate its 700th anniversary and its place in shaping the history of Scotland.
Ground-breaking technology will be used to give visitors a true sense of the battle, from the social history of the time to medieval warcraft. People will be able to interact with 3D digital images, experiencing graphics that will respond with movement and commentary.
HLF’s investment of £1.4m will help the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum create a dynamic new Learning Centre, providing new spaces for educational activities, improved archive facilities and better access to the museum’s significant collections to the place that was home to the forerunner of the internet and today’s connected world.
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum was once home to the world’s biggest telegraph cable station established in 1870. From this remote site undersea telegraph cables stretched for more than 150,000 miles making it the epicentre of telegraph technology during WWII.
Lastly, and possibly the most exciting grant for those Punch and Judy fans. A smaller grant of £240,000 will enable PuppetLink – one of the UK’s leading puppetry organisations – to roll out an extensive learning programme telling the 350-year-old story of Mr Punch and wider puppetry traditions.
“The tradition of folk puppetry stretches back hundreds of years and has roots in many countries across the globe,” says Dame Jenny Abramsky.
“This Heritage Lottery Fund investment will help tell the story of Mr Punch and folk puppetry for new audiences and help reinstate puppetry as a credible art form.”