£1m lottery grant for Quest Centre

PUBLISHED: 10:45 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:24 31 May 2010

How the Heritage Quest Centre could look

How the Heritage Quest Centre could look

A MUSEUM'S bid for almost £1 million to build a new centre to showcase their extensive collection has been successful. Saffron Walden Museum curator Carolyn Wingfield said she was overjoyed by the Heritage Lottery Fund s decision to award them the money

Heritage Quest Centre

A MUSEUM'S bid for almost £1 million to build a new centre to showcase their extensive collection has been successful.

Saffron Walden Museum curator Carolyn Wingfield said she was "overjoyed" by the Heritage Lottery Fund's decision to award them the money.

The museum will put the £976,500 grant towards building the new Heritage Quest Centre on Thaxted Road in Saffron Walden.

"We have worked so hard for this, for such a long time, we are delighted the bid has been successful," said Ms Wingfield. "This funding will make the whole Heritage Quest Centre project viable."

The centre will offer the public greater access to the museum's extensive collection of more than 170,000 objects. Run in parallel with the museum it will be open to visitors for guided tours, research, collections-based activities, schools and adult classes.

Cllr Jim Ketteridge, leader of Uttlesford District Council (UDC), said: "This is an excellent outcome and testament to the hard work of the museum staff who spent months putting the bid together. The Heritage Quest Centre will allow people from across the district and beyond to access tens of thousands of items in the museum's collection."

Saffron Walden Museum will also be undertaking a three-year outreach programme to take the collections to remote rural areas.

The centre will host creative sessions for young people who will create artworks inspired by the collection. Activity workshops for families will be integrated into the holiday programme, alongside study days and evening classes for special interest groups.

Ms Wingfield said: "The Heritage Quest Centre will allow us to reach new audiences and engage more people in Uttlesford with the museum's collection.

"Essentially the centre will be an accessible storage venue housing the museum's extensive Uttlesford collection. Exhibits will include everything from archeology and fossils to horse-drawn carts and local documents."

Robyn Llewllyn, Heritage Lottery Fund East of England manager, said: "The centre will dramatically improve opportunities for local people to access the impressive collections held by Saffron Walden Museum. This grant will create lasting benefit to the local community and these remarkable collections."

The centre will turn a brownfield site into a public amenity and its design will include the use of some recycled material and power generated from sustainable sources.

Work is expected to start this summer, once the remaining funding is secured. The total budget for the project is £1.7 million. It is hoped the Heritage Quest Centre will open in autumn 2009.

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