One of the finest fossil, rock and mineral collections in the world is to go on show thanks to a £1.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The grant has been awarded to the University of Birmingham’s Lapworth Museum of Geology to help fund its redevelopment.
The project will see new exhibitions created and will enable far more people to see the museum’s extensive collection of fossils, rocks and minerals.
Welcoming the grant, broadcaster and anatomist Professor Alice Roberts, who is professor of public engagement in science at the University of Birmingham, said: “The Lapworth collection is so important – this is ‘the’ geology museum in the West Midlands.
“This funding gives us the chance to make sure that the collection is used to its best advantage – and made accessible to as many people as possible.”
The Heritage Lottery Fund grant makes up the lion’s share of the total £2.5 million cost of the museum project, with the remainder coming from University of Birmingham alumni, and a number of grant awarding bodies, trusts and foundations.
The redeveloped museum will explore life over the past 3.4 billion years, covering mass extinctions and evolutionary changes. A host of fossils from around the West Midlands will show how the area has changed from a tropical sea to desert to ice sheets over a 450 million-year period.
The redevelopment will see the Lapworth transformed into “a more engaging public museum” with exhibitions structured around four key themes examining the evolution of life, active earth processes such as volcanoes, mineral wealth and the impact of minerals on the industrial heritage of the region.
Work on the Lapworth Museum redevelopment is due to start in December this year, with the museum due to reopen in October 2015.