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Boost for museum

PUBLISHED: 15:48 20 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:27 07 July 2010

Mid-Norfolk's premier museum is to get a £100,000 boost, new staff and more emphasis on green issues, a report has revealed.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has seen visitor numbers more than double over the last five years and now that is set to increase thanks to the funding boost.

Mid-Norfolk's premier museum is to get a £100,000 boost, new staff and more emphasis on green issues, a report has revealed.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has seen visitor numbers more than double over the last five years and now that is set to increase thanks to the funding boost.

The cash will pay for two new staff at the museum, and their budgets, to help bring in more visitors and increase the museum's work on sustainability and green issues.

Other highlights planned for the 2008 season include a repeat of the Memorable Days Out programme for the over 55s.

And steam is to be used again to operate some of the museum's collection of agricultural engines, powered by the Garrett boiler, which has returned to the site following restoration.

A Go Green event held last year is to be repeated in September.

Stuart Gillis, area museums officer, said in the last five years the museum's events days have gone from attracting 1,000 people to 3,000.

And there was far more capacity at the museum, near Dereham.

“The whole green agenda is massive for us here,” he said. “We will be looking at composting and continue to build on the Go Green project.”

The cash would pay for an events officer and a sustainability officer, who would also work with Stowmarket's Museum of East Anglian Life in Suffolk.

The extra cash is from the government's department for culture, media and sport Renaissance fund and Norfolk Museums is one of four museum's services to benefit from it.

Annual visitors to the museum had risen from 40,000 to more than 80,000 over the past six years, according to the report into the museum's plans going before Breckland Council on Friday.

Schools visits to the centre had risen to a record level, and more people were attending Gressenhall event days.

However, general visits to the museum had declined slightly, the report said.

Visitor income in 2007/8 had also declined, which had led to the museums service reviewing Gressenhall's business plan.

Stuart Gillis, the area museums officer, who manages Gressenhall, is leaving the museums service to start work at a Cheshire museum on April 6. He joined Gressenhall in 2001.

Jan Pitman has taken over as Gressenhall's learning manager after Colly Mudie moved to Norwich museums.

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