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Museum awarded 3.7m lotto grant

3 April 08 14:50 GMT

An historic Teesside museum is celebrating a £3.7m lottery grant.

The Grade II Listed Preston Hall Museum in Stockton, will use the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) cash to help pay for a £6m restoration project.

The award will also mean more of the museum's 65,000 items can be put on public display.

Standing in more than 100 acres of parkland, Preston Hall was built in 1825 and was opened as Stockton's first public museum in 1953.

Dr Keith Bartlett, regional manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: "Not only is it a much-loved museum in Stockton, but it is a significant heritage landmark in the North East, and the home for collections of national importance."

Jane Hubbard, museums service manager, added: "We are really excited to be working on a plan for bringing Preston Hall firmly into the 21st Century.

"We are looking at a whole range of new exhibition topics to inform, educate and enthral our visitors from shipbuilding to the history of social and domestic life, the Stockton and Darlington Railway to an appraisal of local heroes."

The museum currently attracts more than 72,000 visitors a year and features a Victorian street, fine art and armoury collections and houses Stockton's most famous painting, the Dice Players by Georges de la Tour.

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