Museum in £1m bid to restore old waterwheel

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BOSSES at a Yorkshire industrial museum have made a bid for £1m in Heritage Lottery Fund cash to carry out a raft of improvements, including the restoration of an old waterwheel and other machinery.

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust has submitted an application for funding for Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, so that visitors can experience a working site and understand how the buildings and the machinery would have been used.

The chief executive of the trust, John Hamshere, said: “The project will make a fundamental change in the way people can enjoy and engage with Abbeydale. Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is a place of outstanding historical significance and it is important that we continue to preserve the site as well as safeguarding its future.

“We want to create a team that is experienced in heritage skills and provide a sustainable solution to safe-guarding the site’s working machinery in the future.”

The project is due to transform the 18th century industrial works by building workshops for modern metalworkers and creating a learning centre for children, as well as improving disabled access, updating the facilities and creating a new area for the shop and cafe.

Mr Hamshere added: “We hope that we will be successful in our Heritage Lottery bid so that the Hamlet has a future based on the active participation of its local community.

“The site is of world importance and Sheffield is renowned for our industrial heritage. These are ambitious aims, but we hope that Heritage Lottery will support them. The learning and interpretation programmes will be refreshed and expanded into the new spaces which will be accessible to everyone.

“Machinery will work again and people will learn new skills as well as passing those skills onto others, with volunteers central to the life of the site.”

A decision on the funding bid will be made in September.