UTTOXETER’S museum has moved one step closer to securing half a million pounds worth of funding to ‘transform’ the attraction.
Redfern’s Cottage: Museum of Uttoxeter Life has seen a series of steering group meetings to discuss the future of the venue, as the date to submit the bid for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund rolls ever closer.
The funding will build a ‘complete education programme’ for schoolchildren, improve the attraction for both Uttoxeter residents and tourists based on consultation feedback, improve storage facilities and physical access to the building.
Curator Laura Wigg-Bailey said: “We’ve just got one more meeting at the end of July where we’ll be going through all our plans in more detail, as we’ve done various consultations to find out what people want.
“We’ve interviewed teachers from schools and attended the head teacher’s quarterly pyramid meet to build links with the schools.
“Part of our project is to build a complete education programme to cover all year groups up to the end of middle school.
“We’ve consulted with young people as well and have asked groups of Thomas Alleyne’s sociology students – some of the results have been surprising.
“We have also been to the town council to put forward the proposals for the extension to the building which is a complicated legal process.
“What we want to do is provide more for school groups and the community rather than doing it solely for tourists and improve the offering for local people.
“Events we’ve got coming up are special tours of the town, a pub trail, which may launch on Father’s Day, and an archaelogical dig of the courtyard.
"We want to add more coverage of the villages surrounding the town and create an interactive map of the town.
“We want to encourage the public to take part in a broad range of activities.
“We will hear about whether we’ve secured funding or not in December after submitting our bid by September 1.
“Another thing we’ll be doing is having an artist in residence and inviting members of Change and the Art and Soul Friendship Group to come in and document the process of change with the artist in an artistic way.
“The project is a huge uphill struggle but every step we take we get one step closer which is rewarding.”
The Uttoxeter Heritage Trust received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the complete re-development of the museum, back in October 2013.
This development funding of £40,000 was awarded to help Redfern’s Cottage, in Carter Street, progress their plans to apply for a full grant of £514,600 on September 1.
More information is online at www.redfernscottage.org or available via telephone on 01889 567176.