Sandwell  Council has been successful in its bid for £125,370 in grant monies from the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ fund towards the repair of Oak House Museum.

Oak House Museum is a 17th century Grade 2* listed building which requires extensive structural and safety works going well beyond normal maintenance. It is owned and operated as a museum by Sandwell Council. The property is one of the few surviving timber-framed buildings of this type in the Greater Birmingham area and an outstanding example of a yeoman’s house.

Grade 2* listed buildings are protected under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and the council has a duty to maintain and preserve the character of the building. Oak House has recently been added to Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ Register, as there are concerns regarding its condition.

Historic England offer grant funding towards the repair and conservation of listed buildings, scheduled monuments and registered parks and gardens. The funding aims to reduce the risk faced by some of the most significant historic sites in England, as shown on their Heritage at Risk Register.

This is a first phase of works to address the most urgent repairs. Sandwell Council intends to submit further funding applications to other funding bodies in 2024 to undertake additional works to fully restore the building.

It is planned that work will start in November 2023 and will be complete by 31st March 2024.

Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, Councillor Charn Singh Padda, said:

“Oak House Museum is Sandwell’s most popular family-focused museum so this project comes at a crucial time as visit numbers continue to recover post Covid. Lifelong, formal and informal learning is at the heart of what we do, including delivery of educational programmes, and hands-on sessions. The restoration and structural works will enable us to continue to deliver these key community services, along with providing an important building block towards the full restoration of the building.”

On 21 September 2023 Oak House Museum achieved Arts Council Accreditation, which is the UK industry standard for museums and galleries. It helps everyone involved with museums to do the right things, helping people to access and engage with collections, and protect them for future generations.

Source: Sandwell Council Press Office

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