Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to expand the museum into an adjacent property called ‘Gunn Cottage’, purchased in 2013, and redevelop the existing space. The monies will also allow vital conservation and renovation works to take place.
Development funding of £114,300 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help the Framework Knitters’ Museum progress plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date.
Trustees say ‘A Right Good Yarn’ will transform the Framework Knitters Museum site, enabling new displays and exhibitions to be installed as well as providing an enhanced visitor experience. There will be a new visitor route connecting the museum’s three sites, as well as new and improved shop and café facilities. The additional space will also enable the museum to expand its popular programme of events, which include an annual 1940s day, a Victorian Christmas Fair and NOW even a Steampunk day!
The museum is aiming to fully involve the local community in the project through a consultation process, as well as engaging new and existing volunteers and staff. It says existing educational links with local universities and other institutions will be strengthened, and the museum will be better-placed to engage new and more diverse audiences, including hard-to-reach groups.
The Framework Knitters’ Museum is a unique, surviving example of a nineteenth century framework knitters’ yard. Its collections and displays, which are housed in a complex of frame shops, cottages, outbuildings, gardens and a former chapel, tell the story of framework knitting from inception to obsolescence. The Old Chapel is a focal point for the local community and is used by numerous groups and societies, as well as hosting regular art exhibitions and museum events.
Commenting on the award, Chair of the museum’s Trustees, Professor Julian Ellis, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. We are excited about the future of this museum and plan to have the extended museum complete in time for our 50th anniversary in 2021.”