St Fagans National History Museum in £25m appeal

  • 20 July 2012
  • From the section Wales
Young people at St Fagans museum
Image caption The story of Wales from 230,000BC will be told at the museum

An appeal is being launched to help one of Wales' top heritage attractions reach its £25m target to pay for new buildings, galleries and facilities.

It comes as the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) confirmed on Friday it is awarding £11.5m to St Fagans National History Museum, near Cardiff.

A further £6m has been awarded by the Welsh government. More than 600,000 people visit the site every year.

A £1-per-visitor appeal is under way to help plug the £7.5m shortfall.

The appeal is similar to scholar and poet Iorwerth Peate's call for financial support to set up St Fagans in 1946.

Plans to renovate St Fagans were first revealed in January.

Details of the HLF and Welsh government funding emerged in May when the museum applied for planning permission from Cardiff council .

The museum currently allows visitors to learn about life in Wales over the last 500 years.

However, with new buildings, galleries and projects, it hopes to explore life in Wales over the last 200,000 years.

New attractions will include a recreation of the Iron Age settlement Bryn Eryr, on Anglesey.

One of the courts of the Princes of Gwynedd, Llys Rhosyr, will also be recreated.

David Anderson, director general of National Museum Wales, said: "With the generous support of the HLF as well as the backing of the Welsh government, we will be creating another national institution for Wales.

"For the first time, Wales will have its own National Museum of History that will tell the story of everyone in Wales, from the past to the present."

Mr Anderson said more than 130 organisations and societies had been involved in the plans for the future of the museum so that they, as well as others, can help us tell the story of Wales in one place.

"St Fagans will then act as a gateway to other heritage attractions across Wales."

Dr Manon Williams, chair of the HLF committee for Wales, said the project would ensure the people of Wales and visitors had a "truly inspirational and memorable encounter".

She added: "Making History - Creu Hanes will become an exemplar project for us, demonstrating how lottery money can have a positive impact on heritage, economic development, tourism, regeneration and skills."

Plans for the revamp and expansion of St Fagans include upgrading the visitor facilities and making space for two new permanent exhibitions.

Image caption The museum is aiming for a 25% rise in visitor numbers after the redevelopment

A new environmentally-friendly building will illustrate the story of Wales from 230,000BC, when the earliest Neanderthal teeth found in the country, to the present.

Volunteers and students will build the 90m-long hall, which will be built in woods at the south west end of the site.

A new building will be constructed on the site of the current Celtic village, which will be moved to another site at the museum.

It will include an exhibition that looks like the relationship between humans and the environment.

Image caption The museum attracts more than 600,000 visitors a year

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