Yorkshire museums given funding boost

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FOUR museums in Yorkshire are among 40 across England to benefit from grants worth over £4.6m announced yesterday.

Jointly funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Wolfson Foundation, the grants are designed to fund renovation and improvement projects in museums and galleries, to increase access and enhance the display of exhibits.

Lotherton Hall in Leeds has been given £150,000 to refurbish its exhibition spaces and become the home of the new Fashion Galleries.

Several rooms will be refurbished and a new lift installed so visitors can full access to the country house.

Work will begin this summer with a view to launching the Fashion Galleries in March 2015.

The Royal Armouries, also in Leeds, receives £60,000 towards a project, Re-interpreting the First World War, which is due to be launched later this year.

In York, the York Museums Trust has been awarded £300,000 towards the £8m redevelopment of York Art Gallery, which is due to reopen in spring 2015.

The work at York will create 60 per cent more exhibition space, including a suite of three galleries on the ground floor. The roof space will be converted into a mezzanine gallery which, along with a newly-built first floor gallery, will become the Centre of Ceramic Art.

In Sheffield, the Millennium Gallery is set to provide an enhanced showcase of the city’s Metalwork Collection thanks to a £110,000 grant.

Museums Sheffield is undertaking a major redesign of the gallery which will allow curators to share much more of the collection on a regular basis. The new displays are due to be unveiled in February 2015.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The range of projects being funded is testament to the great variety of wonderful collections and attractions at our museums and galleries across the country.

“These grants will help improve visitor experiences, benefiting local communities and helping to encourage growth, whilst also inspiring audiences with new knowledge, and I’m delighted that with the ongoing generosity of the Wolfson Foundation we have been able to help fund so many projects.”