Shrewsbury venue to undergo revamp

by Pete Hayman | 06 Apr 2009

Work is set to get underway on the restoration and redevelopment of a historic music hall in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, after the scheme secured a £1m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Shropshire Portal scheme will include the development of a new, sustainable museum and visitor information centre at the 13th century, Grade II*-listed Vaughan's Mansion and the Grade II-listed Music Hall and Assembly Rooms dating back to 1835. The site of the new venue, which is currently used as a theatre and concert hall, also includes a medieval shut, Shrewsbury's 18th century prison cells and a 20th century nuclear bunker.

Architects Austin-Smith: Lord have drawn up designs for the Shropshire Portal scheme, which will be carried out by Grooms Contractors and has received match funding from Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council (SABC) – now incorporated into the new Shropshire Council unitary authority. Anne Jenkins, head of the HLF in the West Midlands, said: "The site's redevelopment will allow important museum collections to move from their current cramped facilities at Rowley's House and for many more items of national, regional and local significance to be displayed."

Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, added: "At the present time, there does not exist any form of county museum, nor is there any daytime tourist venue for those visiting Shrewsbury to enjoy. "I feel this new flagship scheme, that will be the first major venture of the new unitary authority in Shropshire, will bring major benefits to both Shrewsbury and the Shropshire area as the provision of such a centre will bring about a marked growth in visitors to the area."

Work is set to get underway on the restoration and redevelopment of a historic music hall in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, after the scheme secured a £1m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The Shropshire Portal scheme will include the development of a new, sustainable museum and visitor information centre at the 13th century, Grade II*-listed Vaughan's Mansion and the Grade II-listed Music Hall and Assembly Rooms dating back to 1835.
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