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Redfern's Cottage

date. 2015-2017

location. Uttoxeter

project type. museum redevelopment

clientUttoxeter Heritage Trust

I was a founding trustee of the Uttoxeter Heritage Trust (UHT), working as a volunteer, having just set up L W Bailey Heritage Management. The Uttoxeter Heritage Centre, previously run by the Town Council, was due to close when I met local historian and Chairman of the Civic Society David Parkes and formed UHT. Our aim was to keep the building open for the benefit of local people.


This led to the rebirth of the building as ‘Redfern’s Cottage, Museum of Uttoxeter Life’ and a lifelong friendship. Negotiating a 25-year lease for a peppercorn rent, dealing with legal issues, and tackling the vast backlogs in the museum collection catalogue were a few of our tasks in the early days. We were soon immersed in re-vitalizing the displays on local history, recruiting volunteers, and running a wide range of family friendly and community events.  

I went on to secure just short of £1m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to re-develop the internal layout of the museum, making it more accessible, as well as a complete make-over of the displays and interpretation. This project also involved a new-build extension to house a café and service kitchen, making the financial viability of the whole enterprise more secure.

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