Story Museum fortunes get another lift

  |  Published: Feb 25th 2015

The Story Museum is celebrating the news that Arts Council England will be lending its support to another phase of building work. Funding from the Arts Council will support the installation of a lift, heating and insulation to allow year-round accessibility of its 2nd floor space, combined with frontage improvements and purchase of digital equipment to strengthen its infrastructure and help it reach new audiences.

Kim Pickin, Co-director of the Museum says, “This grant is a lift for us - both literally and metaphorically. We’ve had an amazing year, since opening our site to the public in April 2014. Visitors have really enjoyed exploring our rambling old building but we have been frustrated that only those who can manage the stairs have been able to make it to the second floor. This grant is a major boost to our fundraising to make our large top floor space fully accessible – and installing some heating and insulation will mean that, although it will still essentially be a rough space, we can use it year-round without needing to put on our hats and gloves!”

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “We are pleased to be able to support The Story Museum through our Small scale capital programme. It offers children, young people and families an important, fun and inspiring opportunity to engage with literature. Our investment will support the museum to significantly increase access to its second floor space and strengthen its digital presence, extending its capacity to reach new audiences.”

The Museum hopes to raise the remaining funding for this part of the project in time for building work to start in May, whilst continuing its major campaign to realise The Story Museum’s full scheme.

Arts Council England have supported earlier phases of The Story Museum’s refurbishment, as well as providing funding for the Museum’s acclaimed opening exhibition 26 Characters which closed on Sunday 22 February. Staff and volunteers are currently busy working on two new projects; Draw me a story is a hands-on family-friendly exhibition with original artwork, prints and sketchbooks by much-loved and respected children’s illustrators Quentin Blake, Emily Gravett, Korky Paul, Mini Grey, Nick Sharratt and Yasmeen Ismail. Visitors will also get the chance to see illustrators at work. Time for bed is a new starlit immersive installation where it’s always time for bed. Visitors will be encouraged to put on a dressing gown and snuggle up on a giant bed to enjoy bedtime rhymes, songs and stories.

Time for bed and Draw me a story open on 31 March. The Story Museum’s shop, café and regular events continue as normal throughout February and March. Full details on the website at www.storymuseum.org.uk

Further information from Sophie Hiscock, Fundraising & Communications Manager, The Story Museum 01865 790050 sophie.hiscock@storymuseum.org.uk

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