Ealing and Hounslow Councils are both celebrating being awarded £4.1million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to make major improvements to Gunnersbury Park Museum.
The two councils found out today that their joint bid for an HLF Heritage Grant to overhaul the museum had been successful. The news means that Gunnersbury Park Museum will be revamped along with Gunnersbury Park; which was awarded £4.7million on 7 July from HLF and the Big Lottery Fund’s Parks for People programme.
Having secured the second stream of funding; work will begin to make a number of significant improvements to Gunnersbury Park Museum, including:
- Repairing the external and internal fabric of the Large Mansion; making more areas of the building open to the public and re-establishing views into and out of the building
- Creating display rooms on the ground and first floor to properly showcase museum collections
- Refurbishing the drawing room, long gallery and dining room; along with the historic kitchen and servants rooms
- Improving the visitor reception area, signage and gift shop
- Building new learning spaces
- Installing a lift to the upper floors to improve public access
Refurbishment work will begin in autumn 2015 and is due for completion by spring 2017. Once all of the improvements to Gunnersbury Park and Museum are completed, visitor numbers are expected to rise from 600,000 to over a million per year.
Cllr Sachin Gupta, Hounslow Council’s cabinet member for leisure and public health, said: “For the second time in a few weeks we’ve had great news for Gunnersbury Park, and we’re immensely grateful to the HLF for backing our vision for the museum and park.
“We’re working really hard to bring our ambitious plans to life, and this latest announcement is the next step towards creating a standout London park that residents can be proud of and visitors to the borough will be able to enjoy for years to come.”
Ealing Council’s leader, Councillor Julian Bell said: “This is really fantastic news for Gunnersbury Park Museum and I’m absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to such a generous award to allow us to restore this important local history museum for the people of Ealing and Hounslow to enjoy.
“It’s really exciting to think that this architectural treasure is going to be transformed into a first class visitor attraction by 2017. I really can’t wait.”
Sue Bowers, head of HLF London said: “Gunnersbury Museum is an architectural gem set within a beautiful and popular park. The museum’s restoration will be complementary to imminent redevelopment work at Gunnersbury Park – also funded by HLF – and will take our total investment in the site to almost £9m. Proposals like these are welcomed by HLF as they demonstrate both partnership working and a wider vision for the regeneration of the area.”