BUILDING WORK is well underway to bring Saddleworth Museum into the 21st century with a £1.25 million makeover.
The museum in Uppermill closed its doors in September 2015 to undergo its biggest facelift since 1979 thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund for the ‘Into the Future’ project.
A front extension will take the building back to its original position on the edge of the High Street, with plans for a further side extension plus interior re-designing.
A new entrance will make the museum fully accessible, the exhibition galleries will be redisplayed, and there will be new toilets, a new shop and tourist information service.
Charlie Middlewood, a volunteer at the museum, confirmed: “We are well on our way with the building work and we hope to be open by the end of the summer.
“The budget has been very tight due to the setbacks caused by underground remnants of the building’s previous life as the steam room of the Victorian Mill.
“The stairs are being repositioned around the lift cavity and the new extended toilet facilities are progressing.
“One of the current priorities is to complete the frontage and extend the renovated roof thereby making the building more secure and waterproof.”
During the closure museum curator Peter Fox, staff and around 50 volunteers and Friends of Saddleworth Museum have been raising funds for the Museum.
The museum shop, which sells books, DVDs, and souvenirs, as well as housing the visitor information facility is open in a portakabin next to the museum from 1-4pm.
Charlie added: “Thank you to all the people who responded about volunteering. We have already been in touch and if that is not the case, please re-contact us.
“We are now speaking to our volunteers as we prepare for our new gallery displays.
“We are still especially interested to hear from people who can offer their services with fundraising, organising and helping at events and/or editing the Friends newsletter.”
Contact the Friends of Saddleworth Museum at the museum or by post to: Saddleworth Museum, High Street, Uppermill, OL3 6HS; or visit their website.