Museum wins £1m for historic workshop

CRICH Tramway Village, home of the National Tramway Museum, has been awarded funding for a £1m project to create an exhibition centre in a disused workshop that once served George Stephenson's railway.

Approximately 900,000 of the money will come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with the balance coming from the museum's own resources.

Curator Glynn Wilton said: "The new stone workshop exhibition and learning centre will not only preserve a unique, historically important building but it will also create a visitor hub and exhibition space and provide a valuable new learning facility."

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Built in 1841, the two-storey building stands in the heart of the tramway museum site. It was originally used as a smithy and wagon works for Stephenson's one-metre gauge mineral railway, to transport limestone from what was then Crich Cliff Quarry to kilns at Ambergate.

The newly-restored building will link to the existing workshop viewing gallery through an enclosed walkway.

Christopher Pennell, chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands committee, said: "The creation of a new exhibition and learning centre has the potential to inspire a new generation to explore the industrial heritage of the East Midlands, starting with the story of the development of public transport in the museum on the hill and continuing in the Lower Derwent Valley a mile below, a world heritage site focusing on the early creation of the factory system."

Building work on the stone workshop project will start this summer and is expected to be completed in time for Easter 2011. Crich Tramway Village, near Matlock, is open daily until October 31. Admission costs 10.50 for adults and 5.50 for children.

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