Focus Consultants has been appointed to project manage the transformation of a Cambridgeshire museum after supporting the museum’s successful bid for a National Lottery grant.

Focus provided Ely Museum with project management and business planning support during the development phase, which led to the recent news that the museum had been awarded a £1.66 million National Lottery grant.

Now the Nottingham-based company has been retained to provide project management services for the delivery stage of the Unlocking the Potential of the Old Gaol: Ely Museum Redevelopment Project.

Focus associate Mike Lee said: “This is a fascinating project at Ely Museum and Focus Consultants is delighted to have been able to share our expertise and help the museum secure a £1.66 million National Lottery grant.

“We are now looking forward to making the plans become reality. The scheme will rejuvenate the museum – creating a fantastic destination for local people and visitors to the area.”

Focus, which also has offices in London, Leicester, Newark and Boston, has worked with many national, regional and local museums and attractions across the UK, including St Fagans National Museum of History in Wales, The V&A, The National Army Museum, MShed in Bristol and Brooklands Museum in Surrey.

Alongside The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, Ely Museum has received support from a number of local and national trusts and foundations, East Cambridgeshire District Council, City of Ely Council, and donations from local people, which means that the ambitious £2.2 million project will now go ahead, beginning in 2019.

The project aims to transform the museum over the next two years and to work more closely with local communities. The museum will become a heritage hub for locals and tourists, introducing them to the history of the area. New galleries, a series of events and exhibitions and improved visitor facilities will create an exciting destination for local families, schools and visitors to the museum, while resources and trails will encourage people to explore the district further.

The project will include the renovation of the historic ‘Old Gaol’ building on Market Street and the redisplay of the collections within it.

Commenting on the award, curator Elie Hughes said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this transformational grant thanks to National Lottery players. There will be lots of opportunities for the community to get involved with events and activities, volunteering opportunities and consultation. It’s a very exciting time for everyone in Ely!”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “Museums are vital to our understanding of the past, and with the support of the National Lottery, the people of Ely will have a wonderful asset on their doorstep in order to discover the rich heritage of the cathedral city.”

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