£1.84m Grant Awarded to Kew Bridge Steam Museum
Heritage Lottery Fund for Project Aquarius
Kew Bridge Steam Museum has received a confirmed grant of £1.845 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund for an exciting restoration project, it was announced today.
Project Aquarius will provide new and improved visitor facilities; finish outstanding repairs to the historic buildings; install additional displays, including new outdoor water based interactives; add modern interpretation; and develop new education, community outreach and volunteer development programmes. It will enable the Museum to offer a more exciting, interesting and enjoyable programme every day of the week to the widest possible audience, as well as greatly enhancing the Museum's contribution to the local community.
The Museum is the most important historic site of the water supply industry in the United Kingdom. Housed in a series of grade I and II buildings are four giant working Cornish steam pumping engines, together with a whole range of other working pumping engines and exhibits telling the story of London's water supply. The Museum attracts over 15,000 visitors a year from all over the world. It is recognised internationally as a centre of excellence for the operation of large historic machinery.
Oliver Pearcey, Chairman of the Kew Bridge Engines Trust, said "We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting Project Aquarius. It will allow us to transform the Museum for visitors, to continue to operate our unique collection of working pumping engines, and to play a much greater part in the regeneration and growth of the community in Brentford and Hounslow. We are grateful to everybody who has helped us to get to this point, especially our partners Thames Water. We will now be putting every effort into raising the remaining £186,000 match funding so that work can start".
Helen Newman, Thames Water's Head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, said: "We are delighted that our partnership with the Museum, and the support that it has given, has enabled Project Aquarius to secure this level of Lottery funding. We look forward to working with the Museum on this exciting project."
A confirmed grant award means that money had already been earmarked by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project in question and that the full amount has now been secured.
The Kew Bridge Engines Trust was established to restore the buildings and pumping engines of the Kew Bridge Pumping Station and to open the site to the public. It has operated the Museum for 37 years during which time it has repaired the main historic buildings, restored four of the five original pumping engines to working order, and added four more large pumping engines, many other exhibits and displays on water supply, and a narrow gauge steam railway. The Museum currently opens six days a week, with the pumping engines operating most weekends. Further details are on www.kbsm.org .
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, it invests in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.7 billion across the UK. Further details are at www.hlf.org.uk .
For further information and interviews, please visit the Project Aquarius website www.kbsm.org/project-aquarius, or contact Oliver Pearcey or Richard Albanese for high resolution pictures if required.
How to find KBSM: Kew Bridge Steam Museum is situated in Green Dragon Lane, about 200 yards from the north side of Kew Bridge and under the tall Victorian Tower. The nearest motorway is the M4 (Junction 2 signposted to Kew Gardens and North/South Circular roads, then pick up signs for Kew, Brentford and Hounslow). The museum car park has space for 40 cars or 4 coaches.
Public Transport: Buses: 65, 237, 267, 391.
Admission: Adults £10. Concessions £9. Children (5 – 15) £4.
April 5, 2012