Lapworth redevelopment gathers pace with latest grant announcement

The redevelopment of the Lapworth Museum of Geology has taken another leap forward with the news that the project has received a £100,000 grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Wolfson Foundation.

The Lapworth, which is in the midst of a £2.5m redevelopment project which will create innovative new exhibitions and allow the display of one of the most outstanding rock, fossil and mineral collections in the UK, is one of 25 museums nationwide to benefit from the round of funding. The museum will explore life over the past 3.4billion years, covering mass extinctions and evolutionary changes. A host of fossils from around the West Midlands will show how the area has changed from a tropical sea to desert to ice sheets over a 450 million-year period.

Grants announced today are designed to fund renovation and improvement projects in museums and galleries, to increase access and enhance the display of exhibits.

The £2.5 million cost of the redevelopment is also being funded by a major Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of more than £1.5m as well as by University of Birmingham alumni, and other grant awarding bodies, trusts and foundations.

Jon Clatworthy, the Director of the Lapworth Museum of Geology said: “We are delighted to be in receipt of this grant which will support our redevelopment project, making the large and nationally important collections of the Lapworth Museum at the University of Birmingham much more accessible to the community.

“Now work is underway on the redevelopment, it has become a reality rather than just a dream – and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the new-look museum from this autumn.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: “This partnership between the Wolfson Foundation and DCMS is an exemplar of how a charity and government can work together. We are delighted to be funding so many wonderful projects across the length and breadth of the country. The country's museums and galleries continue to be an inspiration."

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The Government is committed to supporting the arts and making sure our marvelous museums and inspiring galleries continue to be accessible to all. Thanks to the generosity of the Wolfson Foundation our cultural destinations in communities across the country are going from strength to strength and remain much loved places to visit and explore.”