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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Workington museum starts work on new education zone

Work has begun to transform part of Workington’s Helena Thompson Museum into a 21st century facility.

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SCHOOL ROOM: Pat Hall with children from Seaton Junior School in what will be the new education room at the Helena Thompson Museum, Workington

The long gallery at the Park End Road centre will be turned into an interactive educational zone.

The museum recently won £50,000 from the ITV’s People’s Millions competition to help fund the £75,000, two-year project.

Around 6,000 votes were registered in support of the museum, which won its head-to-head contest with a sports club from Annan on the news programme Lookaround.

Additional funding came from Workington Town Council and other sources.

Pupils from Seaton Junior School, on a visit to the museum, took a sneak peek at how work was progressing on Tuesday.

Pat Hall, education officer, said: “The whole of West Cumbria joined in to help us to get this money and we will always be grateful to them.

“This project is about bringing the museum into the 21st century.

“We want to sustain the museum and the grounds and protect it for the future.

“It is a community project and we want to keep people informed every step of the way.”

As part of the first stage of work, built-in displays from 1974 have been removed, walls will be painted and new lighting and carpeting will be put in.

The museum hopes that the cosmetic work within the long gallery will be finished by the middle of March, with interactive features added later.

The room will have a display of different metals and a stained glass window from the Moss Bay steelworks.

The second phase of work will be on a room featuring the story of John Christian Curwen and Schoose Farm.

The museum will be open as usual while the work is carried out and it hopes to hold open days for people to see how the transformation is progressing.

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