Rural Life Museum seeks public support in revamp project

Somerset Rural Life Museum exhibition in the 14th Century Abbey Barn
Image caption The 14th Century Abbey Barn is the centrepiece of the museum

Somerset Rural Life Museum must prove it has community support to secure Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF).

The county council wants to refurbish the site in a £1.4m project, using about £675,000 of HLF money.

The project has won initial approval for its detailed plans to refurbish the museum and make it more accessible for people with mobility problems.

The final proposal is due to be submitted by the county council in January to the HLF.

'Good idea'

The remaining balance of £700,000 will have to be raised by the council through other grants, partner organisations, donations and public fundraising.

Group manager for heritage and libraries Tom Mayberry said: "It's being able to demonstrate to the Heritage Lottery Fund that people actually think this is a good idea that they value it and want it, and do things that Heritage Lottery support.

"It's going to be very important the people of Somerset express their support."

The Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury highlights the social and rural history of the county, through exhibitions and displays of traditional rural crafts such as willow weaving.

If the project is successful the museum's 13th Century Abbey Barn will be refurbished and made more accessible for wheelchair users.

Museum displays will also be updated and a new shop, cafe and toilets will be created.

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