A new 1950s town could become the main attraction at the Black Country Living Museum.
Ambitious plans have been submitted to recreate an old-fashioned town, complete with a pub, library and bowling green, in the heart of the Dudley museum.
If the museum can secure Heritage Lottery funding, it hopes to relocate several historic buildings, brick-by-brick from the area and also recreate others that have disappeared by using archive images and information.
The town would feature the old Woodside Library in Stourbridge Road, Dudley which was closed in 2008 as a result of council cost-cutting measures and has been boarded up ever since, plus the old West Bromwich Gas Showroom, which was damaged in the Blitz, and various historic shops and restaurants.
A bowling green could also form part of the attraction, as could the old Elephant and Castle pub in Wolverhampton that was demolished in 2001.
The museum, where parts of Peaky Blinders has been filmed, has submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £9.8m to complete the first part of its masterplan.
If successful, work could begin in 2018 not only on the new town, which would feature elements from the 1940s to 1960s, but also on a brand new visitor centre and car park too.
“We are delighted to now be in a position to submit this funding bid which has been three years in the making,” said Andrew Lovett, Director and Chief Executive.
“If successful, this development will be a significant one and will allow us to complete the Museum’s story.
“We want to expand and improve our visitors’ experience, enable more people to understand the true significance of the Black Country’s heritage and in doing so, play a major role in the wider regeneration of Dudley by increasing our visitor numbers from 300,000 to 500,000 per year.”
There are also plans to create a new industrial area too, and transform the current entrance building into a new learning centre.
The museum will find out whether it has been successful in its bid in Spring 2017, and if so will work towards submitting a second round bid in October 2018.
This will mark the museum’s 40th anniversary, having opened in 1978 and welcoming 8,903,845 visitors since.
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