Heritage Lottery Fund Success

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have awarded Salisbury Museum a grant of £1,794,600 towards the development of our new Archaeology of Wessex gallery, it has been announced today.

This new gallery will be of international importance, telling the story of Salisbury and the surrounding area from prehistoric times to the Norman Conquest.

The Archaeology of Wessex gallery will show why Salisbury has a unique place in the region's and nation's history. The museum's collections include some of the most important archaeological finds outside a national museum in Britain, including artefacts from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, the Pitt Rivers Wessex Collection and the Amesbury Archer. The gallery will place the story of Stonehenge within its wider chronological and regional context.

This new interactive gallery will help open up the prehistoric heritage of the area to a wider range of visitors, particularly young people and families. This will be accompanied by a wide range of outreach and education activities that will take the story of the Salisbury out into the community.

Adrian Green, Director of Salisbury Museum said: 'We are absolutely overjoyed with this news. This project is part of a partnership with English Heritage and Wiltshire Heritage Museum which is developing an integrated approach to the interpretation of Stonehenge. It means we will be able to open new archaeology galleries at Salisbury Museum that relate to the new displays in the Stonehenge Visitor Centre.

'Richard Bellamy, acting Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: 'The archaeological collection at Salisbury Museum is outstanding, and we at HLF are delighted that we have been able to support this project. The new exhibition gallery will use these key artefacts to open up the history of Salisbury and the local area from Prehistoric times to the Norman conquest so that it can be enjoyed and explored by people from across the community.'

Stonehenge Director, Loraine Knowles said: 'English Heritage is delighted that this superb archaeological collection will be re-presented to tell the fascinating story of prehistoric Wessex alongside that of Stonehenge itself.'

The total costs of the new gallery will be £2.4 million. Salisbury Museum has raised over £500,000 towards this target including major grants from the Garfield Weston Foundation (£100,000), English Heritage (£100,000), DCMS/Wolfson Fund (£100,000), the Charles Hayward Foundation (£30,000) and the Galanthus Trust (£20,000). The museum still needs to raise £85,000, but is confident that the gallery will be open by the beginning of 2014.

For further details contact Museum Director Adrian Green on 01722 820542, email: adriangreen@salisburymuseum.org.uk.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

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, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 33,000 projects, allocating £4.9billion across the UK, including over £453milllion to the South West alone. Website: www.hlf.org.uk.