Park and museum given £1.2m boost

Two of the jewels in Ilkeston’s crown are celebrating after news was announced that they will share in Lottery grants totalling more than £1.2 million.

Two separate awards have been made from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with £503,600 for projects at the award-winning Erewash Museum and a further £740,800 for improvements at Victoria Park.

The success will pave the way for exciting projects at the two sites and is the result of years of hard work by council teams and staff attached to the attractions who have put together bids to impress the HLF and secure the funding.

The money is a huge boost for the Victoria Park Heritage Project, which will include a complete restoration of three key features within the historic park — the bandstand, the pavilion and the pergola arch.

It will also create three jobs — one park warden and two apprentices.

Erewash Museum, off Market Place, will see its coach house, stables and hayloft transformed into a learning and community venue that will build further on the success of the museum.

Victoria Park bandstand

Victoria Park bandstand

The all-new centre will open up a wide range of exciting new opportunities to showcase local history and will expand the educational work carried out by the museum with schoolchildren and visitors.

Cllr Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s lead member for culture and leisure, said: “This is a landmark day for Ilkeston and a very exciting one too – winning this funding is a great success that we have worked hard to achieve this.

“It is the good news we hoped for and means we can now turn our plans for two very important heritage projects into reality.

“We thank all those residents who helped us in putting together our winning bids, the support from the general public has been incredible and we know everyone will share our delight at today’s announcement.

“This is a milestone moment that signals the go-ahead for two of the biggest and most ambitious heritage projects seen in Erewash.”