VISITORS to Avoncroft will be able to travel back in time to the 19th century like never before thanks to a £346,221 Arts Council grant.
It will fund a host of exciting improvements which will be made to the museum over the next three years.
The grant has been allocated from the Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund which aims to support cultural and heritage organisations develop so they will be more sustainable and resilient for the future.
Thanks to the money Avoncroft will be able to use its windmill regularly to produce stone-ground flour which can be sold commercially.
The grant will allow for more period gardens to be created and they will also produce seasonal produce which can be sold.
Another exciting addition to the museum’s attractions will be the new themed areas for younger children which will be designed to encourage them to investigate the buildings.
Avoncroft will also be able to put on a series of learning courses in traditional rural crafts, heritage skills and traditional domestic and agricultural techniques.
Along with this, the money will ensure regular demonstrations of the industrial, domestic and agricultural skills appropriate to the historic buildings.
The museum will now also be able to recruit and train a larger volunteer workforce to act as demonstrators in the buildings and generate new projects centred on the domestic houses.
A portion of the money will then be used on getting historians to research and understand the buildings and to improve the marketing of the area as a tourism destination and develop a working partnerships between nearby rural businesses.
Simon Carter, director of Avoncroft Museum, said the grant was hugely important to Avoncroft.
“This award will enable us to unlock much of the potential we are able to see and to involve more people in the project to make our part of Worcestershire a destination for visitors from across the country.
“We’re incredibly proud we’ve continued to grow as an organisation throughout the recession and we are always looking at ways to generate income to support the museum’s costs.”
Peter Knott, area director from Arts Council England, added in the current economic climate it was really important for cultural organisations to be resilient and sustainable businesses.
“Avoncroft offers people the chance to explore buildings which otherwise would have been lost to the public, and it will be great to see this investment support the museum to find new ways to make the most of its collection to attract new visitors and increase opportunities to generate income.”