BARROW’S Dock Museum has been awarded more than £800,000 tell the story of the town’s shipbuilding heritage.

The two-year project will include the creation of a new permanent shipbuilding gallery, the building of a research room, an upgrade to the museum’s entrance and a new family learning zone.

The project, called Shipyard Town, will focus on the history of Barrow’s main industry from the 1950s to the present day, as well as looking to the future.

Dock Museum curator Sabine Skae said: “Our new gallery is an amazing opportunity to showcase the long and important history of Barrow as a shipyard town.

“The funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, BAE Systems and our other supporters provides us with the chance to show off this heritage in the way it deserves.”

The total cost of the project is just under £1 million, with the National Lottery Heritage Fund contribution made possible by money raised by National Lottery players. BAE Systems and the Sir John Fisher Foundation have also contributed.

The venture will see the creation of three new posts at the Dock Museum, two new shipbuilding films will be commissioned and a pair of new walking trails starting from the museum will be developed so that the town’s shipbuilding heritage can be explored in detail.

BAE has donated a collection of 3,000 images from its shipbuilding archive.

Some of the pictures will form part of the new gallery, while all the images will be restored before being scanned and made available to the public online and in the museum’s research room.

Councillor Ann Thomson, leader of Barrow Borough Council, said: “This award is excellent news for The Dock Museum and indeed the whole area.

“Barrow has a very proud shipbuilding heritage which helped shape our past and still has an important role to play in our future.

“Shipyard Town truly is a superb project which will expand opportunities to share our unique story with people of all ages in a variety of fun, engaging and educational ways.”

Solar panels will be installed too, as part of the Low Carbon Barrow policy.

David Renwick, director of England, North, at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Barrow is home to a fascinating legacy of the UK’s industrial heritage, and we’re delighted to be able to support the creation of the Dock Museum’s new gallery Shipyard Town.

“We’re very proud to have invested in Barrow’ heritage in recent years with initiatives such as our MicroGrants programme, and we are proud to continue to do so through grants for fantastic projects like this.”

BAE Systems’ HR director Paul Ethell said: “We see the Dock Museum as playing a vital role for years to come in helping to tell the story of Barrow for the benefit of its townsfolk and visitors.We look forward to our continued collaboration.”