A multi-venue arts project in the Lake District has been backed by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in its bid to secure a share of a new £15m Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.
The £3.29 million World Heritage Lake District project, which proposes an investment in Windermere Jetty, Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere, and Kendal’s Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum, hopes to transform the visitor experience for tourists in the area.
Plans include a new museum on the shores of Windermere, establishing a permanent exhibition, a temporary exhibition space, a space for artist commissions, residencies and community projects, an outdoor learning and play area and also undertaking landscaping across the iconic surrounding grounds.
Other developments would take place at Grasmere’s Reimagining Wordsworth, which holds the largest collection of Wordsworth’s letters and manuscripts anywhere in the world. Here, exhibition space would be increased, and a learning centre, engaging outdoor space and community gallery would be created.
In Kendal, Abbot Hall, which is home to major historical pieces and contemporary arts alike, would undergo vital refurbishment, including new project space and full accessibility across the buildings and site.
Graham Haywood, Cumbria LEP director, said: “The World Heritage Lake District project had the potential to make a significant impact in terms of arts, culture and attracting visitors to Cumbria.
“Delivering the programme of major capital investment will secure a series of important collections that are emblematic of the Lake District’s World Heritage status and identity – and central to the artistic, creative and industrial history of the North of England.”
Towns and cities across Northern England were invited to bid for a share of the fund, and the Lake District project will now compete with other schemes across the region in the hope of attaining the investment.
Successful projects will be announced in March 2018.