Derelict land to be transformed into contemporary learning space in Stroud
A DERELICT piece of land behind Stroud's Museum in the Park is set to be transformed into a contemporary learning space thanks to a £250,000 grant.
The money from the county's Landfill Communities Fund will pay for the ground to be cleared and a modern looking pavilion installed in the half acre walled garden at the back of the museum.
Funding was secured by the Friends of the Museum and provided by Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, which is supported via contributions from landfill operator Cory Environmental Ltd.
The quarter of a million pound grant came after Stroud District Council put forward £60,000 to help attract external funding.
Fred Ward, chairman of the Friends of the Museum, said the group was 'extremely grateful' to Gloucestershire Environmental Trust.
He added that it would provide an exciting new venue for learning and public programming.
The museum currently attracts over 55,000 visits a year - a 41 per cent rise on five years ago Ð including 2,000 school pupils per annum, from schools within the Stroud district and beyond.
Gloucestershire Environmental Trust's chairman, Stephen Owen, said: "The museum has a proven track record in delivering a range of formal and informal learning.
"The contemporary, high quality pavilion has been designed to compliment the walled garden. As the flagship feature of the project it will provide a space that reflects the quality of the offer and setting."
Fundraising efforts will now continue to meet the target of £490,000 needed to complete the first phase of the project, which involves clearing the garden and constructing a path through it from the museum to the new pavilion.
June Cordwell, SDC's executive member for community services, said the project would create many new opportunities, while the museum's manager Kevin Ward said it would be 'a major addition' to the community.