AFTER more than a decade in the pipeline, plans for the development of Blockley Heritage Society's
heritage centre are going on display to the public.
The £600,000 development of the society's premises next to St George’s Hall 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 museum will illustrate life in the Blockley parish from early Jurassic times – when Blockley was mainly under the sea and plesiosaurs were often seen - through to the present day.
It will bring to life eight strands of its history including how the stone was quarried, its 12 water mills and how Blockley contributed to the outcome of both world wars.
The plans will go on public display on Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20 in the Blockley Heritage Centre, in Park Road, while members are invited to a preview the week before.
Chairman Robert Willott said: “With financial assistance from The Summerfield Trust our designers and architects have created some really appealing drawings and models to show what the Heritage Centre will eventually look like.
“Now we want comments from as many people as possible so that these can be taken into account as the plans are finalised. We really want to get their views because we want them to feel it's theirs.
"We want the Centre to become an asset of the community in which everyone can take pride.”
The proposals have been designed by JDM & Company and heritage architect John Goom,
supported by an extensive research exercise carried out by society members.
Part of the new building will recreate a quarry to show the different levels of rock through the ages while the rest will be covered in grass as seen in Cotswold meadows.
To fund the project, the society needs to secure a £423,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant and the application process is already under way.
Nearly half of the additional £215,000 needed has already been raised but the rest needs to be funded by donations from the community, businesses and charitable trusts.
Society treasurer Chris Boddington said: “We need as many tangible expressions of support as possible to show potential funders that their money will be well spent."
Everyone who views the plans and gives their comments by July 31 will be entered into a draw for a magnum of Champagne while every house in the parish will receive a leaflet explaining the plans in greater detail.