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Museum to recreate 1940s-60s town as new headline attraction

Ambitious plans have been submitted to recreate an entire town mirroring life from the 1940s to 1960s – complete with a public house, library and bowling green – in the heart of the Black Country Living Museum (BCLM) in Dudley, West Midlands.

Forming part of the museum’s 40-year development masterplan – entitled BCLM: Forging Ahead – the town is set to become the museum’s new headline attraction, and would involve the translocation of a number of at-risk buildings in the Black Country to the museum.

Several buildings at risk of demolition from across the Black Country have already been identified as suitable for the project.

Plans also include redeveloping the museum's Rolfe Street Entrance Building into a new learning centre, to enable the development of a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) learning programme.

Museum officials have submitted a first-round funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), hoping to secure a £9.8m grant for the project.

If the bid is successful, officials can get started on the first stage of the project – which is financially supported, in principle, by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership – and carry out “significant historic research” and a detailed planning proposal in order to complete a second-round bid to HLF in December 2018.

Andrew Lovett, BLCM’s director and chief executive said: “We are now in a position to submit this funding bid, which has been three years in the making.

“If successful, this development will be a significant one and will allow us to complete the Museum’s story.

“We want to expand and improve our visitors’ experience, enable more people to understand the true significance of the Black Country’s heritage and in doing so, play a major role in the wider regeneration of Dudley by increasing our visitor numbers from 300,000 to 500,000 per year.”

HLF is expected to announce whether the Phase One bid has been successful by June 2017.

BCLM opened in 1978 and has since welcomed nearly 9 million visitors.

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24 Jun 2013

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Ambitious plans have been submitted to recreate an entire town mirroring life from the 1940s to 1960s – complete with a public house, library and bowling green – in the heart of the Black Country Living Museum (BCLM) in Dudley, West Midlands. Forming part of the museum’s 40-year development masterplan – entitled BCLM: Forging Ahead – the town is set to become the museum’s new headline attraction, and would involve
The open air BCLM opened in 1978 and currently covers the years from 1850 to 1940
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ISPA Conference & Expo
ISPA Conference & Expo