The Upper Wharfedale Museum Society will be literally ‘raising the roof’ after news today that it has obtained funding worth nearly £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting new project entitled The Crowther Room. Work on the new room will begin in mid March involving the removal of part of the existing roof to create additional head room in the upper floor area, providing a dedicated work space, and archive storage.

The project is named after John Crowther, the Victorian antiquarian who lived in Grassington and founded the first museum. The new space will offer improved facilities for research and study by visitors, community and staff.

The Museum, which is run by volunteers, has, in addition to its permanent display, a large and fascinating collection of artefacts and documents illustrating the life, industry and traditions of the area. It will soon be possible to display these in special exhibitions and forge closer links with community groups, schools and Grassington Hub.

Commenting on the award, David Pritchard, Chairman of UWMS said “I was delighted in December when we had our 100,000th visitor through the door and now we have secured this Heritage Lottery Funding which will enable us to unlock the full potential of this important collection and we anticipate the work to be completed by the end of June this year. 2012 is going to be a very exciting time for volunteers and visitors alike!”

Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund – Yorkshire and the Humber, said “Grassington Folk Museum is an important resource for the community as it tells the story of the Upper Wharfedale’s domestic, industrial and geological heritage. We are proud to support this fantastic project that will enable the Museum to open up its collections for the community to explore and enjoy.”