LEYLAND’S British Commercial Vehicle Museum will reopen later this month following a major refurbishment scheme financed by a £1.8m National Lottery Grant.
Bosses at the popular King Street museum have revealed it will be open to the public again on Saturday January 26, heralding an exciting new chapter for the attraction.
Work on the project – which has secured the long-term future of the museum – began a year ago. It is hoped the completed scheme, under which big alterations have taken place, will be a real boost for visitor numbers.
A delighted museum manager Keith Moyes said: “We’re extremely pleased. We think it’s an important museum that should now be able to trade for the next twenty to thirty years and hopefully beyond.”
Under their Up Another Gear project lottery application, museum bosses included:
- The 1930s former vehicle finishing shop, which the museum occupies, being saved;
- The badly leaking roof repaired and low energy heating and lighting installed, so the museum can open all year round;
- Complete refurbishment to showcase the historic vehicles;
- The use of multimedia and interactive interpretation including hands-on exhibits, dressing up and living history;
- A new café, shop and activity and conferencing space contributing to sustainability and providing space for school visits and activities;
- A new dedicated space ensuring that the archive is better managed and researched, and that historic film is used in creative activity programmes.
Confirming the opening date of January 26, Keith Moyes said: “We will be open from 10am to 4.30pm, we will be open every day except Mondays. The Café, which is called Emma’s Café will be open seven days a week and we’re looking forward to receiving visitors again after being closed for such a long period.
“Visitors will see a re-vamped exhibition hall. The companies who use our conference meeting area will see a vast improvement of facilities we have on offer. We have our archive section now located in one position within the museum.”
Keith urged local folk to get along and see for themselves what the new-look attraction has to offer.
“Look into the history of vehicles in the area in which they live, as well as the great history of transport in the UK,” he said.
The museum is the sole surviving part of the original 1930s Leyland Motors factory.
By Gordon McCully, Leyland Guardian