The Museum of East Anglian Life is celebrating grants totalling £50,000 from Mid Suffolk District Council (£35,000) and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (£15,000), towards commissioning a new business plan to support the ambitious transformation of the museum over the next 10 years.
Jenny Cousins, the museum’s Director, said: ‘This very welcome funding will give us the information and support we need to transform the site into a leading visitor destination, building on recent investment in new exhibits which celebrate the region’s food heritage. We have a fabulous 75-acre site in the heart of Mid Suffolk and are keen to make the best use of it for visitors, local people and businesses.’
Cllr Nick Gowrley, Leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: ‘The Museum of East Anglian Life is a key asset for Mid Suffolk and generates economic and social benefits for local people. It’s a green space in the centre of Stowmarket and a much-loved place visited by generations of local families. This investment in its future will enable the museum to realise its full potential.’
Cllr Gerard Brewster, Cabinet Member for Economy, said: ‘The museum is an anchor business for Mid Suffolk, bringing visitors into the area where they spend in our shops. It’s important that we invest in the assets that generate wider benefits and effectively spread the impact of our support.’
Chris Dashper, Head of Programmes at New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: ‘We are very supportive of the museum’s plans. Our region excels in food and to be able to showcase our heritage, expertise, food science and innovations are exciting prospects. The A14 corridor is a priority area for growth and the museum’s ambitious and exciting aspirations to grow and innovate are much welcomed as they could create new jobs, attract more visitors, and have educational and social benefits.’
There will be an opportunity for local people to input into the museum’s plans when the business plan is commissioned at an open evening on Wednesday 24 April, 6pm-8pm.