Magic time for the Carpet Museum thanks to Heritage Lottery Fund

It took a long time for the Carpet Museum Trust to get to the position of being able to apply successfully for major Lottery grants, but once they were underway, there was no stopping them.  In this press release of 23 September 2008, the team were delighted to announce…

Famous world-wide for its carpet heritage, Kidderminster is set to receive nearly £1.7 million* for a new museum to be housed in the former Stour Vale Mill thanks to The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Carpet Museum Trust will use the Grade II listed 1855 building, originally built as a factory for carpet making, to celebrate the town’s heritage with displays of old and new. The central attraction for visitors will be a working power loom displayed in partnership with commercial carpet weavers Grosvenor Wilton Ltd, while adjoining display galleries will interpret the development of the industry in Kidderminster since the 18th Century.

Anne Jenkins, Head of HLF in the West Midlands, said: “This is a long awaited and eagerly supported project in Kidderminster that HLF is very pleased to support.

It is also an interesting example of how a modern development – in this case the opening of a new Morrison’s store in Kidderminster – has paved the way for and enabled the conservation of a town’s industrial and architectural heritage through the external restoration of Stour Vale Mill. We wish The Carpet Museum Trust every success with the creation of this new museum within its walls and look forward to the benefits it will bring to the local community and its visitors.”

This exciting new museum for the Midlands will work to emphasise the strong community links between carpet making and the town, alongside hands-on opportunities to learn about the technical aspects of carpet production. Other facilities will include relocation of the Carpet Archives Centre to the new site, an education and Resource Area for families and schools, a temporary exhibition area, and the display of the museums’ collection of machinery, artefacts, photographs, archives and libraries over two floors in area of 14,000 sq. feet.

Charles Talbot, Honorary Secretary and Trustee of The Carpet Museum Trust welcomed the news with excitement, and as project champion, explained: “This grant will encourage support from many quarters to provide the financial help we now need to prepare the next stage and to complete the project. We are very grateful to the HLF for once again showing their confidence in us.”

Dr Richard Taylor MP, a keen supporter of the Trust added: “This announcement is fantastic news. We are really grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for backing The Carpet Museum. When complete it will house many extremely important artefacts and historical interpretation to the heritage of the area. This money will enable the museum to develop as a vital resource for the community, and we look forward to its legacy as a major tourist attraction in Kidderminster for years to come.”


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