Axminster Heritage Centre’s £63k Lotto boost

PUBLISHED: 07:51 08 August 2016 | UPDATED: 08:50 10 August 2016

The weaving group at Axminster Heritage Centre

The weaving group at Axminster Heritage Centre


Award paves the way for full £520,000 application to complete the town centre project

Axminster Heritage Centre has been awarded a £63,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant to pay for the next stage of transforming the former carpet factory at Thomas Whitty House into a major community asset.

Part of the Axminster museum collection is already on display there, safeguarding its future.

Now, the additional money will enable the detailed plans to be drawn up for a new, modern ‘interactive’ attraction to appeal to visitors of all ages, including educational and research facilities.

When complete, an application will be made to HLF for a full grant of £520,000 based on these detailed proposals to deliver and complete the project. It will see the original Dye House and walled garden restored, a mezzanine floor added over part of the Drill Hall for storage and conservation work and a new office and toilet facilities.

The final overall design and fit out of the complete Heritage Centre, including a small shop and café, will all be included. Courses and workshops are planned on design, spinning and weaving and there will be new opportunities for volunteers and an outreach programme developed.

Trustrees chairman John Church said: “We are delighted HLF has given us this support. The first phase of our new Heritage Centre, which was also supported by HLF, is already open and run by volunteers living in and around Axminster. We have been really impressed with the support of the local community, who we must thank wholeheartedly. Our vision is to help to inform local residents of their heritage and attract more visitors to the town thereby contributing to its regeneration.”

Nerys Watts, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “From Roman times to present day, this Heritage Centre will provide a great insight into the history of the local area.”

Axminster Heritage Centre, in Silver Street, is open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, and Saturday, 10am to 1pm, until the end of October. Admission is free. For more information, visit

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