Great North Museum Project Receives £5 Million Funding Boost

by Roz Tappenden | 15 February 2006
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a computer generated image of a museum gallery containing lots of birds

The new museum will incorporate a refurbished Hancock Museum. Courtesy University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Plans for a flagship museum in the north of England have moved a step closer after the project received a £5 million funding boost.

The TyneWear Partnership pledged the multi-million pound seal of approval via the Single Programme Funding programme from One NorthEast.

The £26 million museum project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will incorporate the Hancock Museum’s natural history collections, archaeological and ethnographic collections from the Newcastle University Museum of Antiquities, Shefton Museum and Hatton Gallery.

Professor John Goddard, Newcastle University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, is the Great North Museum project director.

“The TyneWear Partnership’s support is fantastic news for the project,” he explained, “It recognises how much importance this region’s policy makers place upon the project and its ability to be a key visitor attraction, bringing visitors both from within and outside the region.”

The new museum will be housed in a refurbished and extended Hancock Museum at the northern entrance to the city. It is expected to spark a new wave of regeneration in the city and attract visitors from all over the country.

a computer generated image of a museum gallery containing a dinosaur skeleton and a display screen

The museum will attract visitors from across the country. Courtesy University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Chris Thompson, chair of TyneWear Partnership, said: “Cultural initiatives like the Great North Museum project have an important and transformational role to place in the regeneration of the area.”

“As well as celebrating its rich heritage, this facility will contribute greatly to the region’s reputation as a cultural hotspot,” he added.

The news comes in the same week as the Heritage Lottery Fund gave final approval to the allocation of £8.75 million towards the project.

Keith Bartlett, Regional Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “This is one of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s biggest ever grants to the region – an amazing £8.75 million – and will ensure that the city has a museum where its fantastic internationally important collections can be displayed in surroundings that will inspire and captivate visitors.”

He added: “The new museum will enable a much deeper exploration of the past and it will be a great focus for the developing Cultural Quarter in Newcastle.”

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