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A  new  lease  of  life  for  one  of  the  oldest  museums  in  the  country     Kendal's  first  museum  was  formed  in  1796.    As  the  collection  grew,  the  Museum  was  re-­‐ housed  several  times  before  ending  up  in  its  current  building,  formerly  a  wool  warehouse,  in   1913.    The  Museum  is  home  to  a  range  of  collections  including  local  archaeology,  history,   geology  and  local  and  world-­‐wide  natural  history.    The  significance  of  the  collection  not  only   has  relevance  to  the  local  community,  specialist  groups  and  societies,  it  is  also  considered  by   experts  to  have  a  regional  and  national  relevance.         In  spite  of  its  longevity  and  impressive  collections  the  Museums  future  had  been  the  subject   of  debate  for  some  years.      Managed  by  South  Lakeland  District  Council,  the  local  authority   for  financial  reasons  reduced  the  Museums  weekly  operating  hours  from  39hrs  to  15hrs  in   April  2007.    However,  a  new  way  forward  was  at  hand.    Kendal  College  had  approached  the   Council  to  explore  options  to  utilise  space  within  the  Museum  and  to  work  with  its  staff  to   improve  its  offer  for  students.    The  reason,  it’s  Art  and  Design  (Allan)  building  is  located   adjacent  to  the  Museum.     On  April  1  2009  a  ten  year  agreement  took  effect  between  South  Lakeland  District  Council   and  Kendal  College.    The  college  look  after  the  collections  and  manage  the  staff  and   buildings.    The  collections  remain  the  property  of  SLDC  and  Kendal  town  council  still  own   the  building.    The  Council  has  maintained  its  financial  commitment  (at  2008/09  levels)  and   the  College  has  undertaken  to  keep  the  Museum  open  to  the  public  for  at  least  the  same   amount  of  time  as  at  transfer  (in  summer  2010  they  increased  to  16.5hrs).    Although  the   hours  the  Museum  is  open  to  the  public  are  limited,  students  are  able  to  access  the   Museum  and  its  collections  in  the  mornings  of  open  days  and  by  attending  courses  run  by   Museum  staff.       This  is  just  the  beginning.    The  new  deal  to  hand  over  running  of  Kendal  Museum  to  Kendal   College  was  designed  to  be  used  as  a  springboard  for  a  major  regeneration  of  the  north  end   of  Kendal  town  centre.    The  College  aims  to  develop  its  digital  and  creative  curriculum,  while   increasing  the  provision  for  Further  and  Higher  Education  within  the  area.    The  proposed   new  development  will  form  part  of  a  ‘campus’  that  embraces  the  Kendal  Museum,  the  14th   Century  Castle  Dairy  and  the  Allan  Building  to  create  one  joined-­‐up  facility.    It  makes  use  of   buildings  in  an  area  of  Kendal  that  have  fallen  into  disrepair.    Planners  are  expected  to  be   attracted  by  the  prospect  of  improving  the  entrance  to  the  town  from  the  railway  station,   giving  the  town  a  new  gateway.    The  Castle  Dairy  will  become  a  patisserie  and  art  gallery.    A   multi-­‐purpose  space  for  students  studying  performing  arts,  dance  and  music,  facilities  for   sound,  lighting  and  recording  with  workshops  will  be  built.    The  Museum  will  be  able  to  use   this  facility  when  not  in  use  by  students  for  events,  lectures,  etc.    An  application  to  HLF  has   been  submitted  to  refurbish  the  Museum  with  new  displays,  interactive  learning  resources   and  improved  public  and  storage  facilities.    Councillor  Jameson  said:  “I  am  really  excited  by   the  prospect  of  rejuvenating  that  area.  By  using  cultural  and  educational  facilities,  there  is   an  excellent  opportunity  for  Kendal  to  develop  its  attractions.   In  December  2009  the  NWDA  awarded  Kendal  College  a  grant  of  £1million  towards  the   development  outlined  above.  In  December  2010  the  Museum  will  find  out  if  its  round  1   application  to  the  Heritage  Lottery  Fund  has  been  successful.    

Further  information:   Morag  Clement,  Curator  Kendal  Museum       NWDA  Grant  information  at­‐09-­‐03-­‐16.php      

PRT Case Study New Lease of Life for Kendal Museum