PLANS to turn the former home of a beloved poet into a museum have been dealt a blow after a funding bid to buy the building was denied.

Millom's Norman Nicholson Society has been disappointed after an application for £500,000 in funding was turned by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Members of the society had hoped to use the money to buy and renovate the lifelong home of the famous poet and turn it into a museum.

But supporters hope they will be successful with a second attempt to gain lottery funding.

The chairman of the society, Charlie Lambert, said: “We are obviously disappointed that this initial bid has not succeeded, but this is not the end of the story. "The feedback from the HLF indicates that they approve of all the main elements of our application but they want more information about some of the documentation and activities that are planned after the house re-opens. They have told us we are welcome to apply again."

Mr Lambert pointed out only a minority of applications for HLF funding were approved at the first time of asking and vowed to "move forward" with the funding bid.

Angela Dixon, the deputy mayor of Millom said she was also disappointed at the decision on the poet's house, which is at 14 St George's Terrace.

Cllr Dixon said: "The funding application being denied is a shame because Norman Nicholson is a massive part of our heritage.

"A museum to celebrate him would be a real boost for the town because it would be a great tourist attraction."

The £500,000 would be used to restore the house to its appearance at the time when the Nicholson family lived there, include exhibitions of Nicholson’s work and memorabilia, a café and accommodation for a writer in residence.