People in Linlithgow were celebrating the news that plans to move the royal burgh’s museum have received a funding boost.
The relocation project from Annet House to the former County Buildings in the town centre has been awarded a first round pass grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It is receiving £254,000 to develop the plans for the museum’s new home.
The new location will provide bright, spacious galleries with contemporary displays.
State of the art technology including touch screens and virtual reality will encourage visitors to explore the history of the town and surrounding area, from the regimental painted drum of the Scottish Brigade carried in the Peninsular wards, to a local surgeon’s connection with the introduction of chloroform as an anaesthetic.
Welcoming the news, Peter Anderson, chairman of Linlithgow Heritage Trust, said: “This award takes us one step nearer to relocating the museum. We look forward to working with the community to plan, research and deliver this exciting new heritage attraction.
“The trust wishes to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their part in helping to make all this happen and all our partners, especially West Lothian Council, for their invaluable support.”
Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to give our initial support to this project. They have recognised the value of the museum and its artefacts, not just as an important record of the town’s past which needs to be kept safe, but as a focus for community activity today.
“This is an exciting project which will bring on lots of volunteers, not only to help plan the move but to share their passion for the town’s history with visitors and the community through tours, workshops and events for people of all ages.”
There are plans to relocate a number of facilities into the new partnership centre, including Annet House museum, the library, council customer information services, Local History Library, Family History Society and St Michael’s Day Centre for the elderly.
There will also be accommodation for Police Scotland who will be relocating from the nearby police station.
The £4 million project to refurbish the former County Buildings is due to be completed by February next year.