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New funding announced for Bowes Museum

The transformation of The Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle in County Durham is continuing apace. The latest news is the announcement that a further bid for £250,000 to the Garfield Weston Foundation has been successful.

The latest 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 museum’s director, Adrian Jenkins, commented: “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. It’s a wonderful endorsement of a partnership which allowed such important work to begin in the first place.”
The makeover is part of a five-year plan for the magnificent French-style château, which began in 2005 with much-needed repairs to the leaky roof. That in turn acted as a catalyst for a programme of internal improvements. With phases two and three almost complete, which include the creation of a stunning silver and metals gallery, further roof restoration, a new café and shop and improved visitor amenities, attention is now turned towards phase four.
The museum’s extended shop (pictured) 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 museum’s silver and metalware collections which have not been on public view for many years. The gallery will include a multimedia interactive feature about the famous Silver Swan musical automaton, allowing visitors to investigate its history and amazing 235-year-old mechanism.
For a full programme of events and exhibitions, click on www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

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