HISTORY buffs are celebrating after picking up a whopping lottery grant to fund an exciting project for Brightlingsea Museum’s new home.

Brightlingsea Museum, which is currently based in Duke Street, has been awarded £99,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for its exhibition entitled Our Heritage, for today, for tomorrow, for all.

The project will enable the museum to install dynamic and interactive exhibitions, as well as a range of facilities, events and activities, when it moves into its new premises at the town’s former police station in Station Road.

Museum curator Margaret Stone welcomed the lottery windfall and said the scheme will inspire audiences of all ages to explore the history of the town and how it has shaped life today.

She thanked the National Lottery for the cash and added: “We are thrilled to have received this magnificent support.

“Thanks to National Lottery players we can now create a vibrant museum for the people of Brightlingsea and the surrounding areas as well as a quality visitor attraction for north east Essex.”

She added the museum’s new premises are now nearing completion after a significant refurbishment and extension of the town’s former police station.

Work will start on the interactive exhibitions in the autumn and space will be created for larger groups and school parties.

The new exhibitions will tell the story of the town’s unique links with the Cinque Ports.

It will also trace the development and demise of industries such as shipbuilding, fishing and the ancient oyster trade.

Another area to be explored will be the heydays of ocean going yachting when Brightlingsea residents waited for news about their men crewing Sir Thomas Lipton’s yachts in the America’s Cup.

And there will be analysis and displays on the harbour’s role as a naval base in both world wars.

Alongside the maritime displays there will also be a temporary exhibition area, as well as study and research facilities and a programme of events and activities.

Robyn Llewellyn, who is the head of Heritage Lottery Fund in the East of England, said the body was pleased to support the history project.

He said: “We’re delighted to support this exciting project which will bring to life the social and maritime history of Brightlingsea.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, the museum will display more of its collection than ever before and involve people of all ages in learning about and sharing the town’s past.”

The museum is expected to reopen next summer.