The Museum’s £2.4 million expansion plans, ‘Onwards and Upwards’ were given a significant boost with a National Lottery grant of £1,172,500, it was announced this week.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project aims to conserve Home Mill where the Museum is based, enhance its presence in The Shires and its entrance, install a new lift, re-develop the amazing displays, create new Learning and Outreach facilities and temporary exhibition space, a library and research facility, create interactive and weaving zones and interpret the historic townscape. Another aim of the project will be to create a wider range of opportunities to volunteer and to learn weaving related skills. A digital app will further interpret the numerous textile buildings in the heart of the town.

Home Mill was Trowbridge’s last working woollen cloth mill, ceasing to operate in 1982, and has been home to the Museum since July 1990.

Clare Lyall, the Museum’s Curator, said “Thanks to National Lottery players we have had this fantastic support. This exciting project will ensure that a thousand years of textile heritage is accessible to many more people locally and regionally and will continue to be for many years to come”.

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said, “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re delighted to support Trowbridge Museum as it begins an exciting new chapter in telling the story of the town and its fascinating heritage. As well as conserving the historic Home Mill, this project will transform the way collections are displayed, improve access for people of all ages and create vital new community and learning space”.