Sudbury's Shrinking Corridor. © NTPL
The National Trust Museum of Childhood, at Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire, is set to undergo a massive £2.2 million transformation thanks to £1.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Additional funding has been received from the National Trust, The Betty Cadbury Trust, the National Trust South Derbyshire Centre and several generous legacies.
Situated in the 19th century servants’ wing of Sudbury Hall, the Museum of Childhood was acquired by the National Trust in 1991 and boasts collections that tell the story of the importance of play, creativity and challenges through childhood and the impact they have on children.
Children's Games at Sudbury. © NTPL
“This award from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable us to develop the Museum of Childhood into an exciting and engaging place for visitors from the local community and around the country," said Lesley Law, Property Manager at Sudbury.
"The project will transform the site, opening up the incredible collections to inspire visitors with stories of childhood, increase the size of the museum and improve access so everyone can enjoy the displays."
The museum will increase in size by 50%, allowing more space for objects from the collections to be displayed and lots more space for visitors to move around in and to take part in activities.
Inside, the museum will be transformed into seven new display areas where visitors of all ages can discover the stories of childhood, get involved in activities and see a programme of temporary exhibitions.
Up to 5,000 objects, many of them coming out of storage for the first time, will be included in the new displays, which will be presented under improved conservation conditions.
Helen Subden, Documentations Assistant at the Museum of Childhood with Angela Watson, Committee Member, East Midlands, Heritage Lottery Fund, looking at a circa 1900 French toy school room. © NTPL
A new upper floor will also be developed with lift access and there will be increased capacity for learning, particularly for school groups.
“This is a great project that will really bring the museum to life, creating a new exciting exhibition area and enabling the display of much of the collection for the first time," said the HLF’s Regional Manager, Emma Sale.
"The Museum of Childhood is a great example of that commitment and one which we are delighted to support.”
After October 29 2006 the museum will close with work on it beginning immediately and it will re-open in 2008. Until then people are being encouraged to visit to take part in family activities taking place during the school summer holidays when the museum will be open daily.