Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust has been awarded a grant of £177,500 from The Garfield Weston Foundation Culture Fund to support the rebuilding of audiences following the pandemic. The crucial funding will be used to support the redevelopment of the popular Victorian Ropery gallery at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, telling the 400-year old story of ropemaking at Chatham.
The project will see improved interpretation within the gallery and the integration of a newly acquired collection of objects from the Museum of Knots and Sailors’ Ropeworks. The enhanced experience will also allow an increase in number of visitors to access the guided tours of the Ropery complex each day. It is anticipated the project will commence towards the end of 2021 and open to the public in 2022.
Funding from this grant will also support a new temporary exhibition in No.1 Smithery gallery for the 2021 visitor season. The exhibition, entitled “Hidden Heroines: the untold stories of the women of the dockyard”, will explore the valuable roles women played throughout the Dockyard’s history, right up to present day.
Richard Morsely, Chief Executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said, “We are delighted that the Garfield Weston Foundation has chosen to support us during what continues to be a very challenging time of our industry. This support will enable us to enhance our gallery spaces and find new ways to tell the fascinating stories of the Historic Dockyard Chatham, reach wider audiences, and assist our post COVID-19 recovery. The Garfield Weston Foundation has previously funded a number of projects for the Trust, including No.1 Smithery and Command of the Oceans and we are delighted the Foundation has been able to provide support once again.”
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