Boost for Ilfracombe Museum restorations

Posted on: 10 May 2016

Ilfracombe Museum is set to receive a share of £700,000 towards restoration works.

On Monday 9 May the museum heard it will receive £50,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund. This will go towards making essential repairs to the museum to protect its Victorian charm and curiosities. The planned work includes roof repairs and central heating.

The museum is one of 15 projects along the Great British Coast, from Durham to Dorset, which is set to receive funding to help restore local landmarks to their former glory.

The museum’s application was supported by a Coastal Communities Team made up of local councils including North Devon Council, local businesses and residents.

North Devon Council’s Executive member responsible for regeneration, Councillor Pat Barker, said: “It really is great news that Ilfracombe Museum is set to receive this funding. As you would expect, the level of interest and applications for the funding was very high, so the fact the application has been successful is a reflection of all the hard work that went in to it. The funding will ensure the museum is around for many years to come for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois said: “Across our Great British Coast we’ve got heritage hooks to be proud of, but some of these places need some tender, loving care. That’s why over the past year we’ve invested £3.7million to get them back into ship-shape and now Illfracombe Museum and 14 more brilliant British attractions will be buoyed up by work to restore them to their former glory.”

Mr Francois hopes the work will encourage a wave of enthusiasm for trips to our much-loved seaside areas – and help boost the £4billion that tourism generates for coastal communities every year.

The museum is an all-weather and all year round attraction, housed in the old laundry of the Ilfracombe Hotel. It attracts around 14,000 visitors each year. It also provides a valuable volunteering opportunity for local people with around 30 volunteers.

This grant builds on the 77 projects awarded a share of £3m through the Coastal Revival Fund in December which includes renovation work on Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens.

The renovations to these much-loved venues – and the jobs and opportunity they create – are part of the wider government work to rebalance the economy and help all areas of the country thrive.

Through the Coastal Communities Fund £120 million has been invested in the last 3 years alone, protecting or creating up to 18,000 jobs. Analysis has shown that that money is well spent with every £1 invested having the potential to create an up to £8 boost to our coastal economies.

The Great British Coast has enormous economic potential and local people really care about the future of their seaside areas. That’s why 118 Coastal Community Teams were created last year and given a share of £1.18 million to help drive forward coastal communities’ growth. These teams have already submitted more than 100 radical plans which set out a blue-print for growth, jobs and prosperity.

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