Staff and volunteers at the town’s Museum of Carpet are celebrating after securing a grant of £49,200 from Heritage Lottery Fund, Transition Grant.
As Charles Talbot, Chairman of the Board, and longstanding member of the Carpet Museum Trust said: “Receiving this grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund is going to make a significant impact on the Museum’s ability to face our future financial and funding challenges. It signals that the Museum can look forward to stronger future where it can continue its work to inspire and enthuse the town about its unique history and heritage”.
Transition Funding is only awarded to a handful of organisations and is available to organisations in the UK who want to achieve significant strategic change – through acquiring new skills or knowledge, or new models of governance, leadership, business and income – in order to become more resilient and sustain improved management of heritage for the long term.
The grant will be used to employ two staff to help more people find out about what the Museum can offer. Sue Hetherington will be employed to further develop the Museum’s schools programme which last year saw nearly 1,000 school children visit and take part in workshops on carpet making and its history. Philip Clayton will soon join the team and his role is to develop the Museum’s oral history project, Floored by Memory, designed to capture the town’s memories of its world dominating industry and help create the new people’s exhibition space where the Museum hopes to bring more stories from people who once worked in the carpet trade to the forefront.
The funding will also be used to encourage more people to get involved as a volunteer at the award-winning Museum and join the team of about 50 people who regularly help out. The Museum is keen to hear from anyone who might want to get involved, and is particular interested to hear from anyone who can help run its power looms which visitors particularly enjoy seeing working when they visit.