Wirksworth Heritage Centre has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for their Recreation and Renaissance project, it was announced today.  Development funding of £120,000 has been awarded to help Wirksworth Heritage Centre (WHC) progress their plans to relocate, recreate and develop a more accessible Museum and Community Heritage Centre at a new site on St. Johns Street in Wirksworth.

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work and run a series of events, exhibitions and workshops to enable the Wirksworth community to get involved.  With an emphasis on widening their appeal to both young and old, WHC will be actively encouraging local people to get involved in every stage of the development, from managing and handling archives and artefacts to digitising collections, from helping to create exhibitions to running group and school visits, there will be something for everyone to get involved with – no experience necessary as full training will be available for anyone interested.

Joanna Faulkner, Chair of the Trustees of Wirksworth Heritage Centre said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support as we progress towards a full grant application. The Project, supported by the Mayor and Town Council, aims to give the town a place for live entertainment, public meetings and exhibitions like the recently successful Wirksworth and the Great War and protect the living heritage of Wirksworth, and it’s great to know that we are a step closer to preserving it for another generation.

The Heritage Centre was opened at the Crown Yard site in 1985 as a local community museum.  With the bequest in 2010 of a large heritage building on St. Johns Street, WHC decided to close and relocate.  With parts of the St Johns Street building dating back to the C16th, It is an ideal location for the Museum and ideal for further developing accessible community facilities and events.

The development also includes plans to create a café at the rear called ‘Websters Yard’ in memory of Mrs Webster who left the building to WHC and provision for a community space to provide Wirksworth, which is renowned for its artists and artisans, the environment to encourage and work with these communities, developing both an outlet and meeting place.

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