Blockley Heritage Centre a step closer

Cotswold Journal: l-r Chairman Robert Willott, Jamie Leonard, Miranda Melville and Dora Leonard (JDM & Company), John Goom (architect) with Blockley Heritage Society members. l-r Chairman Robert Willott, Jamie Leonard, Miranda Melville and Dora Leonard (JDM & Company), John Goom (architect) with Blockley Heritage Society members.

BLOCKLEY Heritage Society has announced the team which will work on the proposed £560,000 development of its heritage centre.

Architect John Goom has been appointed to work alongside JDM & Company, who will design the exhibition content.

The development of the Blockley Heritage Centre is expected to include a dedicated permanent exhibition hall, a heritage library and a Parish Council office along with the existing public hall that will serve as a lecture room and heritage activity centre for visiting school parties.

The exhibition, which will bring to life eight strands of Blockley history , is the dream of the society's president, Jeremy Bourne, who has been working on the plans for the past six years.

Chairman Robert Willott said he was very excited about the latest development.

"To be at the stage now where we're actually employing the architect and the designers to actually do it with a view to showing it to the public as a model this summer is really exciting and encouraging," he said.

"I really hope the people of Blockley will be equally enthusiastic about it. We're already really pleased with the support of the parish council, things are coming together well."

It is hoped £428,000 will be raised through grants, including a substantial one from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and community fundraising initiatives.

The society has already raised £62,000 though community fundraisers over the last few years.

Jamie Leonard, Dora Leonard, of Batsford, and Miranda Melville, who make up the JDM team, have been brought together especially for the project which includes an theatrical element.

Between them, they have designed sets for films including Mona Lisa, costumes for Comrades and We Think the World of You, created props for Game of Thrones, The Muppets, Downton Abbey, sets and costumes for contemporary dance and theatre productions.

Mr Goom, of Blockley, is a member of the Heritage Society and is retained by the National Trust to look after properties in the Wessex, West Midlands and Thames and Solent regions,including projects at Snowshill Manor and Croome Park.

Subject to planning permission being granted, work is set to start in the summer of 2016.

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