A detailed interpretative display will, for the first time, highlight the historical importance of the engines and give visitors a chance to 'drive' a working model of the oldest engine on site.
There will also be new display areas in the museum to bring its history to life, and interactive displays designed to enhance the visitor experience for all, particularly for school groups.
The museum is housed in a magnificent 19th Century Pumping Station, and the buildings to be restored contain three of the museum's oldest engines, including the 1820 Boulton and Watt engine and the unique Bull engine, the last complete survivor of its kind in the world.
The scheme will also improve access to the building for visitors with special needs by providing a new ramped access and through RNIB approved and trained tactile tour guides.
Once the works have been completed, it will take a year for the building to dry, during which time other project activities will be put in place before opening to the public in 2006.
These include a public consultation and pre-view days, implementation of a volunteer training plan and extra education activities.
As well as the museum staff, at least six volunteers will contribute more than 170 days to lead the building works, redecorate the interior of the two buildings, and install DVD and CCTV interpretation systems.
Lesley Bossine, Museum Director said; "Kew Bridge Steam Museum is such an important heritage resource in Brentford and the surrounding area, both for local people and visitors, offering a wealth of history that covers almost 200 years.
"This will be a very long, but much needed project. We are very pleased to receive the Heritage Lottery funding and look forward to seeing the works completed and the benefits passed on to improve the visitors' experience."
Sue Bowers, HLF's Manager in London, added; "This is a great project that will provide a much needed resource for the museum, creating a fully functional exhibition area and enabling the display of the electrical collections for the first time.
"The development of innovative learning programmes provides an inspired approach that will really enhance the museum's facilities and open it to the widest possible audience."
find the steam museum: In Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, Middlesex
about 100 yards from the north side of Kew Bridge under the tall Victorian
tower. Nearest motorway M4 (turn off at junction 2 signposted to Kew Gardens
and north/south circular roads), down to Chiswick
Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays (engines in steam).Adults.£5.20
How to reach
the Museum by public transport: Buses: 65, 237, 267, 391. Main Line Trains:
Telephone the museum: 020 8568 4757 Fax: 020 8569 9978 or visit
Aug 22 2004
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