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HLF Grant to help Transform the Museum


Contact:            Karen Hubbard, Marketing

Museum prepares for Major Transformation Project following announcement of Heritage Lottery Fund Backing

 The Long Shop Museum in Leiston is delighted to have been awarded initial support* by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards a £2.6M project to transform the site into a beacon of industrial heritage for the 21st Century.

The museum’s Victorian factory buildings include the world’s first building for assembly line production; one of East Suffolk’s lesser known historical gems. Though it has survived in its near original condition for 163 years, the passage of time has taken its toll and major restoration work is now needed throughout the museum to ensure the future of its listed buildings and to update its displays and facilities.

The museum has now achieved a first round pass with an initial grant of £161,200 from the HLF to develop and refine plans for this major transformation project. A further £1.9m of funding has been has been earmarked subject to approved of more detailed plans in a round 2 application. The hard work begins now but the museum is very excited to have approval in principle for its transformation.

During 2017 the museum will be undertaking local consultation and developing architectural proposals, display designs and costings.  These will help the museum conserve and restore its historic buildings, improve access and interpretation, update displays to help highlight its extensive collections, and improve visitor facilities. A welcoming café will be part of an attractive hub for the whole community to enjoy along with visitors from far and wide.

This enhanced visitor experience will incorporate new activities as the museum continues to build on it’s recently awarded ‘Family Friendly Museum of the Year’ award and its very successful ‘Men’s Shed’ partnership with Leiston Forward. It will work with local organisations to offer a full programme of activities for people of all ages and backgrounds, including initiatives for pre-school and post-retirement audiences.  A Youth Shed will offer young people the chance to gain basic engineering skills and find inspiration in the achievements of Richard Garrett, his descendants and those who worked at the site.

The museum is also embarking on a strategic fundraising programme to attain significant match funding before applying to Heritage Lottery Fund for the next staaage.

Anna Mercer, Curator at the Long Shop Museum, said:

“We welcome the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and see this as an acknowledgement of the museum’s unrealized potential as well as a recognition of the unstinting efforts of our staff and many volunteers to provide the best possible experience for the thousands of visitors we welcome here each year. Repairing, restoring and renewing the Long Shop will transform it into a unique and brilliant place which continues to generate interest, understanding and pride in our industrial and engineering heritage amongst people of all ages and from all walks of life.

“We also want to reach out to visitors within the wider cultural community which includes Aldeburgh Music and the ever popular coastline of East Suffolk. We hope that this commitment to and confidence in our plans will inspire individuals, trusts and foundations to support our campaign as we move from the early endorsements into the fundraising stage and beyond which will allow our vision to be realized, making the Long Shop a fine example of a modern museum and giving it a new lease of life.”

For further queries about the project and ways to get involved, please email


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Notes to editors

The Long Shop Museum

  • The Long Shop Museum is leading the scheme and has been awarded £161,200 to develop plans and apply for a full grant from HLF at a later date.
  • A remarkable outpost of industrial Britain in rural Suffolk, at the heart of the town of Leiston, near the Suffolk coast.
  • The museum is open 6 or 7 days a week from late March to end of October each year and a range of events and activities throughout the year.
  • For further information and details of our full programme, please see

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

  • Heritage Grant applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.
  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery

For details of all events at the Long Shop Museum, keep an eye on the website –