Bid for £750k to revamp Sheffield museum

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A bid for £750,000 of funding to redevelop Weston Park Museum is in the offing after plans for a new 25-year lease for the building were approved by Sheffield Council.

The new lease for Museums Sheffield means the trust will be able to refurbish the building and improve its displays.

The reworked lease is needed because Heritage Lottery Funding grant requirements stipulate there must be at least two decades remaining on the lease before money can be handed out.

A ‘number of key galleries and displays’ could be introduced to the museum if the new grant bid by Museums Sheffield is successful.

Works would be completed by October 2016.

A report to the council said: “Museums Sheffield is seeking Heritage Lottery Funding grant aid in the sum of £750,00, to redevelop a number of key galleries and displays.

“A new lease of not less than 20 years unexpired is needed to satisfy grant funding requirements.

“The project will protect earlier investment, and build on the museum’s successes by improving the flexibility and sustainability of the displays, enabling more people to see more of the collections more often.

“The granting of a new lease will benefit the trust and the local community by enabling the refurbishment of the building using external grant funding and continuing to provide culture and leisure facilities for local people.”

New exhibitions which have opened this year include a permanent installation about green spaces in Sheffield and another touching on the city’s role in the First World War.

Weston Park Museum visitor and mum-of-three Natasha Green, aged 31, said new displays would be welcome at the attraction.

The self-employed mum from Ranelagh Drive, Ecclesall, often takes youngsters Leah, 14, Lorna, 12, and one-year-old Lilly to the museum.

She said: “The kids always enjoy going and looking at all the local history of the area because there are a lot of interesting exhibitions at the museum.

“But it would be nice to have a few more new displays to keep it modern and give us reasons to go back again.”

The plans were passed by Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore subject to call-in.