Four of our group made a visit to Congleton today to meet with the management of their museum. The aim was learn what we could about the potential challenges and pitfalls of setting up a centre. They gave us some great advice but also open our eyes to the fantastic potential "ripple" effect of having a heritage centre within the community. Congleton is now able to employ a part time Education Officer who is responsible for creating resources and delivering sessions on local history to all local schools. They have a strong friends and volunteer organisation. They have been able to provide work experience and research opportunities to high school students including those planning to go on to study history at University. This includees a terrific database for people researching local family history. The small retail area provides an outlet for local authors.
The centre has been so successful that they are now planning a move to larger premises in a heritage building on the high street. They are bidding for a £1.9m purchase grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable them to achieve this.
The group left more convinced than ever of the potential for a similar centre in Lymm.