Museum 4 Watton has received a confirmed National Lottery grant of £61,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create a museum in the Norfolk town of Watton, it was announced today. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project aims to save and conserve artifacts, documents and records and display them in premises within Wayland Hall (the Town Hall) in the Market Place in the centre of Watton. This will enable them to be seen and accessed by the public.

The group’s large collection of historic documents will be digitised, thus enabling their content to be accessed without endangering their conservation. An educational programme is also planned to encourage school pupils and others to learn more about the history of the town. It is hoped that interested people will volunteer to help run the museum and participate in the volunteer training sessions, meeting others with similar interests.

The rooms in which the museum (grade 2 listed and built in 1853) will be housed are not currently open to the public, and this project will remedy this. The members of the group are passionate about the need to preserve items that are of importance relating to Watton and its surrounding villages before they are lost and to make them accessible.

Commenting on the award, Chris Hutchings, Chairman of the Board of Trustees said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The creation of the museum will mark a major step on the road to achieving our dream of preserving the heritage of the area.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “I’m thrilled that we can support Museum 4 Watton to tell Watton’s story and celebrate its heritage. Thanks to National Lottery players, this new venue will inspire and engage younger people with their local history and create a permanent home for the town’s collections.”

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