The British Commercial Vehicle Museum based in King Street, Leyland, Lancashire, is pleased to announce that it has received a National Lottery grant of £1,836,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the ‘Up another gear for the British Commercial Vehicle Museum’ project, it was announced today. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the long-term sustainability of the museum will be ensured.
The aim is to attract more visitors from wider audiences and enable them to better understand and engage imaginatively with the collections. With the enhanced opportunities for income-generation that are included, the project will enable the museum to go confidently into the future. Work on the project will start early October 2017 with the refurbished museum re-opening to the public late in 2018. The 1930s former vehicle finishing shop, which the museum occupies, will be saved.
The badly leaking roof will be repaired and low energy heating and lighting installed, so that the museum can open all year around. It will be completely refurbished to showcase the historic vehicles. There will be multimedia and interactive interpretation including hands-on exhibits, dressing up and living history. A new café, shop and activity and conferencing space will contribute to sustainability and provide space for school visits and activities.
A new dedicated space will ensure that the archive is better managed and researched, and that historic film is used in creative activity programmes. A new post will double volunteer numbers and training will take place, enabling good collections management and a range of activities, particularly for families and young people, which will widen audiences and increase visitor numbers, whilst STEM-based learning is offered to schools.
The town of Leyland has close associations with the early development of steam-driven lorries and today is one of the leaders in developing diesel-electric hybrid vehicles designed to reduce harmful emissions. The museum building is the sole surviving part of the original 1930s Leyland Motors factory. It still has a motor industry-related use and lends an important atmosphere to the stories it has to tell.
Keith Moyes, Manager of the museum said: ‘We are delighted to have been awarded this National Lottery grant, this marks the start of an exciting new chapter for the museum. The work will create a modern museum that is accessible and interesting. We hope to be open again by the end of next year.’