As the transformation of The Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle
continues apace, staff are delighted to announce that a further bid for £250,000 to the Garfield Weston Foundation has been successful.
The makeover is part of a five year plan for the magnificent French-style château which began in 2005 with the first phase of much needed repairs to the leaky roof. This in turn acted as a catalyst for a programme of internal improvements. And with phases two and three - which include the creation of a stunning Silver and Metals Gallery, further roof restoration, a new Café and Shop, and improved visitor amenities progressing towards a successful conclusion, attention is now turned towards phase 4.
The Museums Director, Adrian Jenkins, said: The Garfield Weston Foundation was a major player in contributing to the first phase of work to make the building watertight. We are therefore delighted that it has chosen to support this latest phase with a further grant of £250,000. Its a wonderful endorsement of a partnership which allowed such important work to begin in the first place.
This further award from the Foundation will help boost the creation of a new gallery devoted to British Decorative Arts, the refurbishment of the second floor Picture Galleries, improvements to the main temporary exhibition space, and the upgrading of first floor lavatories and external storage facilities. It will also assist with the revamp of a secondary temporary exhibition space to be used for the display of community based and small scale exhibitions.
The Museums extended Shop, carrying an excellent array of gifts, books, stationery, toys and confectionery, is now open to visitors, while the revamped Café Bowes has introduced waitress service to add to the relaxing atmosphere.
The sparkling new Silver and Metals Gallery, due to open in mid-April, will feature a display of the Museums silver and metalware collections which have not been on public view for many years. The gallery will include a multi-media interactive about the famous Silver Swan musical automaton, allowing visitors to investigate its history and amazing 235-year-old mechanism.