Lancashire’s premier military museum is being upgraded in time for the anniversary of the First World War.
The £150,000 programme at Lancashire Infantry Museum, based at Fulwood Barracks in Watling Street Road, Preston, can go ahead thanks to grants from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the largest-ever award from the Her Majesty the Queen’s Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund.
The project will see the complete redesign and re-fitting of the museum’s principal display area, which dates back to the 1920s.
The Somme Room will also be transformed using new purpose-designed and built displays to tell the story of the regiments and their post-war successors, the Lancashire, Queen’s Lancashire and today’s Duke of Lancaster Regiments, through the 20th and 21st Centuries.
Together with the recently-completed Waterloo Room, which relates the history of the regiments in the 19th Century, the project ensures that all areas of the museum have been brought up to date in time for the 100th anniversary of World War I in August.
“Our museum represents all the Lancashire Lads who have served their country in our regiments down the years, including in particular the thousands who did not return from the Great War,” said Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) John Downham, chairman of the museum trustees.
“We need the museum always to be a fitting tribute to their memory; one that can tell their story to today’s generations in the best and most effective way possible. Thanks to these two most generous grants, we can now do so.”
The National Heritage Lottery Fund has confirmed a grant of £95,000, and the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund has given the project its biggest-ever single award of £15,000.
The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Charles Shuttleworth, said the Trustees of the Duchy Fund were so impressed by the work of the museum that they unanimously waived
the Fund’s usual grant maximum.
The museum remains open while the refitting is taking place. A formal reopening is expected to take place in August.