Museum’s £1.5m Lottery bid is expected soon

Photo Neil Cross
The British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Leyland
Photo Neil Cross The British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Leyland

Bosses at one of Leyland’s top visitor attractions are hold their breath as they await the outcome of their big Lottery bid.

An announcement on the British Commercial Vehicle Museum’s £1.588,000 application is due out any time now.

If it is successful, the King Street museum plans to scrap its current winter closing and remain open all year round.

Other benefits the cash will bring to the King Street museum include structural roof repairs, better lighting, heating and new display layouts and improved facilities for preservation of archive material.

The scheme would create improved visitor facilities, including a shop and toilets and create a multi-purpose space suitable for dining and activities, equipped with a café-bar and projection area.

A volunteering and activity programme would also be delivered.

Keith Moyes, manager of the British Commercial Vehicle Museum, said: “We should know by the end of this month.

“We’re still very hopeful.

“We submitted the bid and had no questions or verification of our requirements, so we’re very happy with that.

“We have not changed the scheme at all, just a couple of small refinements.

“We’re hopeful, but it’s always on the day.”

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £94,500 up front to help develop the project with the rest of the money earmarked to be released at a later date, subject to a further application.

At the time, Sara Hilton, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Commercial motor vehicles are a vital part of the identity of this area and the museum plays a crucial role in keeping this legacy alive.

“We are pleased to offer this National Lottery support to help the Museum develop for the future and tell this story to many more people. We look forward to seeing how the plans progress.”

The museum put together a specialist team to take the bid forward and had just under two years to submit it.

Heritage Grants applications are assessed in two rounds.

A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.

A visit to the museum takes you back in time.

Visitors can walk freely around more than 60 historic vehicles.

Folk can admire horse-drawn vehicles from the 1880s and learn how they gave way first to steam driven, then petrol and diesel powered motor lorries and buses.

They can climb aboard some of the exhibits - getting behind the wheel of a vintage lorry, or modern truck cab. Children love the vintage fire engines with their big brass bells. There’s the Pope-Mobile, too, a specially-built vehicle for Pope Paul’s visit in 1982.