Fylde’s art gems have received a £24,000 boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Local arts education group Fylde Decorative and Fine Arts Society has been successful in its application for a grant from the Fund and it will pay for a two-year project to raise awareness of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection.
Fylde DFAS’ Tagging the Treasures project will see volunteers recruited to research artists, art works and donors, producing a complete online and printed catalogue that will make information about the collection fully accessible.
Information gathered by volunteer researchers will be used to produce educational materials, a catalogue and a new website dedicated to the collection. A part-time coordinator will be appointed to collate all the research. There will be displays, lectures, roadshows and exhibitions, and people will have opportunities to get involved at every stage.
The Art Collection had its origins almost 90 years ago when John Booth of the Booths supermarket chain donated a Richard Ansdell painting The Herd Lassie to Lytham St Annes Corporation. That was the start of a stream of bequests and donations and the collection grew to over 200 works.
The art gallery planned to house the works was never built so most of them were kept in the town hall, until the new Fylde Gallery, incorporated into Booths’ store in Lytham, finally allowed an opportunity for some works to be on show.
It is the second major cash award for Fylde DFAS inside a year. Twelve months ago, it received £20,000 from the Arts Council for its It’s A Birdie community arts project.
Marie Riley from Fylde DFAS said: “We’re thrilled that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this grant. We plan to work closely with The Collection and bodies such as Fylde Council, Lancashire County Museum Service, the libraries and other groups.”
Friends chairman Margaret Race said: “It’s wonderful news and we are so grateful to Fylde DFAS for their involvement in this major project.”
See www.fyldedfas.org.uk to volunteer.