Dales museum to be given £50,000 overhaul

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A MUSEUM dedicated to charting life in the Yorkshire Dales through the centuries is to get a major facelift in the hope of boosting visitor numbers.

The overhaul of the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes is aimed at increasing income to offset running costs amid the Government’s austerity drive.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is investing £50,000 to alter the layout and entrance to attract more visitors. Work is due to be finished in the spring of 2014. It is hoped the move will also bolster the wider economy of Hawes by encouraging more people to stay in the town for longer.

The member champion for promoting understanding, Ian McPherson, said: “In these harsh financial times, it is important that the authority generates income to offset the buildings’ fixed costs.

“We believe, with the support of residents and visitors alike, this small investment will reap benefits within a fairly short time period and allow us to continue to offer people the unique glimpse of Dales life past and present that can be found in the museum.”

The collection was started in the 1940s and is the most comprehensive nationally relating to Dales heritage. Artefacts date back to the prehistoric era and highlights include a Viking ring found in Sedbergh and a tinsmith’s workshop rescued from Castle Bolton.

The national park authority has embarked on its most comprehensive overhaul as the 2010/11 Government grant of £5.4m will be slashed to £4.2m by 2014/15.