HLF ensures the Cardiff Story is told
Christmas has come early for the Cardiff Story as the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) today (14 December) awarded a grant of £440,000 towards the first phase of re-opening a museum for the city.
The last dedicated city museum closed in 1924 but now the Cardiff Story, located at the site of the 19th century Grade II* listed Old Library building in the Hayes, will explore and celebrate the history of the capital city of Wales and the people who made the city what it is today.
The museum will act as an introduction to the city for visitors, highlighting other city attractions such as the Castle and will also be a community resource, a discovery point and educational facility for local people.
The Museum will be based on a core collection of around 8000 Cardiff artefacts, which have been stored by the National Museum Wales since the old museum closed. The Museum is also appealing to the public for further objects and stories to add to the collection.
The artefacts which include fine art, industrial, maritime, social history, photographs, oral histories and archaeology will now be displayed and interpreted using digital stories, interactives and people’s stories to help bring them to life.
The HLF money will fund part of the new ground floor gallery and the creation of an entertaining and interactive history lab and learning suite, with classrooms and group activity spaces in the basement for use by school and community groups.
The magnificent Old Library building which sits in the very heart of Cardiff’s busy shopping centre was restored with the support of an HLF grant of £758,300 in 1998. This latest grant will ensure further public access to areas such as the historic tiled corridor.
It is estimated that Phase 1 of the Cardiff Story Museum will cost £2.4million. It is expected to be completed by November 2010 and to attract 120,000 visitors in its first year.
Dan Clayton-Jones, Chair of HLF Committee for Wales, said: “Cardiff is one of the few major cities without a dedicated museum and we wanted to help correct that. The success of the temporary exhibitions staged at the Old Library proved there is a real demand for the story of Cardiff and its people to be told.
“This project will bring Cardiff’s historic past back to life, helping local people and visitors explore the making of our capital city. It will provide new and exciting opportunities for people to play their part in telling Cardiff’s diverse stories.”
Executive Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Nigel Howells said: “I am delighted that the Cardiff Story has been awarded funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The grant along with funding from the Council will help bring the Cardiff Story to life. Cardiff is both a vibrant city which is steeped in history and a modern city which continues to develop, the aim of The Cardiff Story is to capture not only the past but also the present.”
Dr Kathleen Howe Cardiff Story Museum Manager said: “The museum is a very unique and interesting project, and will bring together items, photographs and stories of events that have helped shape the city. The input of the people who live or have lived in Cardiff will be essential in telling the true story of the Capital city”.