Conwy Council’s cabinet is expected to rubber-stamp a grant of £35,000 to allow the start on site of the redevelopment of Llandudno Museum.
Costs on the project, which was awarded £862,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in July 2018, have now climbed from the initial £1.5m estimated to £1.8m, covering acquisition of expansion space and improvements across the facility.
The Chardon Trust, which runs the museum, has covered almost all of that from various sources, and now Conwy’s cabinet is asked to approve the awarding of £35,000 from its Projects Match Funding provision to allow the trust to proceed, an officer’s report noting that some other funding steams are time-limited and could put the scheme at risk if lost.
The trust has long wanted to expand and improve facilities but was unable to fund the purchase of adjacent Arvon Villa when it came on the market in 2015 – landowner Mostyn Estates stepped in to secure the building on the museum’s behalf. With grant funding now secured, the trustees have been able to buy the villa.
The museum expansion plans were drawn up some time ago, and in addition to increasing exhibition space by 25% at the town’s only accredited museum, plans include a community facility which will provide a meeting room for local organisations as an education centre for visiting school groups, as well as improved disabled access and a passenger lift.
Arrol Architects, a heritage specialist which counts work on York Minster, Salford Cathedral and Lincoln Castle among its roster of recent and current projects, is engaged on the scheme.
Chardon Trust chairman Roy Haley said: “Mostyn Estates have held the property for the Trust until we were able to obtain the funding. With the grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and support from the Welsh Government, the museum has now secured the funding, and we were able to purchase the lease from Mostyn Estates and start the major redevelopment of the museum.
Mostyn Estates managing director Edward Hillier said: “Visitors to Llandudno, and residents, need a high quality and engaging museum experience to help tell the town’s story. We really look forward to seeing this vital new addition to the town’s offer when it opens in 2020.”