Millom centre enjoys new lease of life after £160k windfall

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31 August 2016 3:10PM

A PIECE of community history has been given a new lease of life after receiving £160,000 in grants to revamp its display.

Millom Discovery Centre is embarking on a new project that will bring the history of Millom to life after receiving the funding.

This windfall will pay for a state-of-the-art facility that uses four-dimensional technology to enable visitors to experience the sights, sounds and smells of Millom’s industrial past.

Jim Partridge, treasurer of Millom Folk Museum Society, is delighted to have received the funding and considers it to be the start of a bright new future for the museum.

He said: “It’s a new lease of life - it’s brilliant. We’ve got to do it now because it’s older peoples’ memories and experiences that we’re trying to recreate.

“We’re preserving the sights, sounds and smells of the time and trying to get the whole flavour so we can hopefully tell the whole story of Millom.

“If we don’t do it now we will lose those memories forever.”

The story will begin as visitors enter the museum and are greeted by a holographic image of Millom poet, Norman Nicholson, reciting some of his work.

They will then follow the story of Millom round the room as they study a timeline, which will follow the path of a steam train, letting off actual steam and making its way up the west Cumbrian coastline.

Visitors can then choose from a number of modules that are based on specific themes such as industry or folklore.

It is extremely rare for small communities like Millom to have access to the kind of technology that makes the experience work and it will highlight the centre as a leader of heritage and learning.

Glenys Partridge, a trustee of the museum, believes the money will elevate the museum into a whole new league.

She said: “It’s very rare. It’s a massive deal and it’s sending an important message out to people.

“This will be a great experience and we will be giving people that wow factor, especially being in Millom.”

The idea has been in the pipeline for just over a year but will now be brought to life after receiving funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£84,000), Copeland Community Fund (£62,000) and the Community Rail Partnership (£20,000).

The money will enable the project to run for three years but will also pay for a new member of staff who will be responsible for overseeing the project, liaising with schools and ensuring it can continue to grow for many years more.

Work is already under way to transform the museum and volunteers are preparing for a grand opening on March 20 next year.

All the staff and volunteers are hugely excited about the opening and are calling on schools and residents to take a look at all it has to offer.

Mr Partridge said: “It’s going to be a show. We’re going to give them a show they will never forget.”

Discover more about South Cumbria's iconic heritage here.

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