LOCAL HISTORY is being brought to life once more as the Saddleworth Museum reopened its doors last month after a year-long £1.25million makeover.
The Museum on Uppermill High Street closed in September 2015 to undergo its biggest facelift since 1979 thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund for the ‘Into the Future’ project.
The development includes a front extension and new entrance, a further side extension plus interior re-designing, new toilets, and a new shop and tourist information service.
Internal alterations provide a lift for full disabled access and the existing roof has been insulated and new double-glazed timber windows have been installed.
Architectural work has been carried out by OMI Architects, consultancy and exhibition by Headland Design and building work by Armitage Construction.
The public was invited to take a look for themselves when the Museum, founded in 1962 by Roger Tanner, re-opened with a day of activities as well as showing off new exhibitions.
Friends of Saddleworth Museum along with learning officers were on hand to talk about the development, as well as delve into the past with information.
Also on display was a brightly coloured ‘Take One Triangle Bunting’, made up of triangles designed by individuals, groups and businesses to show what Saddleworth means to them.
John Hodges, Museum Trustee board chairman, said: “We will always be grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund as the majority partner in this project.
“We are also grateful for all the local donations we received and in particular the Roger Tanner Trust, the Norman Stoller Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation.”
Museum curator Peter Fox added: “Our refurbishment has allowed us to completely re-design some areas and create a more coherent and open ‘flow’ between our four gallery spaces.
“We have something that will appeal across the age groups and the best way for people to experience this is join our Friends of the Museum or buy their entrance ticket.”
Andrea Armitage, Armitage Construction Director, said: “The end result is stunning. I am positive it will result in a significant boost to visitor numbers.
“We’re delighted to have been so involved with this very important project.”
Museum Trustees will celebrate the re-opening of this unique local community resource at a formal grand opening on Sunday, November 6.
There will be a drinks reception at 11.15am then “ceremonial” ribbon cutting with special guests Sir Norman Stoller and his wife Lady Sheila at 12noon followed by speeches and a private luncheon.
The community gallery will be closed for the day but the museum galleries will be open as usual between 1-4pm.
Find out more about Saddleworth Museum on their website: www.saddleworthmuseum.co.uk or call 01457 874093.