St Leonard's Church, a Newton Abbot landmark and important heritage building, has lain empty facing an uncertain future for many years. Meanwhile the town's museum is a hidden jewel, squashed into a small space on a back street alongside the Town Council offices, with awkward access and only able to display 1% of its collection. So... our plan is to move the museum into the church! This means we can: • preserve an important heritage building for public use • give the town's museum a high street location and a much higher profile • generate more space to tell the fascinating stories of Newton Abbot's past • create new community rooms for local groups to use • provide more activities for schools and adult groups • move the Town Council offices so they are easier for people to access This is a great opportunity for Newton Abbot to create a museum fit for the twenty-first century, connecting our community with its past and bringing people together to enjoy their heritage.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
It makes good use of a building that has been lying empty for many years, and gives it a viable long-term future. It helps revitalise part of Newton Abbot's town centre and anchors the new "Cultural Quarter". It creates new community meeting space that people need, because there are few alternatives in the town. It puts our museum and the heritage of the town centre-stage, and makes it more accessible for people. It means we can display more of our museum collections, in ways that are inclusive and engaging. It provides new volunteering opportunities, and ways for people to learn new skills and play a part in their area.
Steps to get it done:
The project is now in its "development" phase which means we are getting all the designs and planning consents and research done to make sure the project is feasible. We've been given a grant of £150,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help cover the costs of this, plus £21,800 by the Teignbridge Electors Fund. The Town Council has also committed £50,000 to this stage but we still need to raise £10,000 to fill the gap, and this is the goal of our crowdfunding campaign. This money will help pay for planning amazing museum exhibitions and displays, working with local people to make sure our museum is properly rooted in the local community. If we're successful with our campaign, when we submit our second-round application to the HLF in March 2018, we can demonstrate really strong community support for the project. That will help unlock a further grant of £800,000 from HLF as well as further funding from the Town Council, and other funders, to make Newton's Place a reality!
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