EFFORTS to revamp Poole Museum have been boosted with councillors unanimously approving funding arrangements for the £4.2 million project.

BCP Council’s cabinet green lit the submission of a £2.2 million grant bid on Wednesday, as well as a £1 million council contribution funded through borrowing.

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, whose role include overseeing the council’s cultural work, said the project would help “significantly” increase visitor numbers.

The scheme will include “urgent” conservation to the Town Cellars and Scaplen’s Court, both of which are Grade I-listed.

Designs have also been drawn up to improve accessibility throughout the museum and to create an extra 1,500 m2 of exhibition and facility space.

The first round of funding for the project was approved in late 2019 with £478,000 awarded by Historic England and £352,000 through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The latter sum was provided to produce a second application and this submission, seeking just under £2.25 million, was approved at Wednesday’s meeting of BCP Council’s cabinet.

Cllr Iyengar said the improvements would be “considerable” and help “significantly” widen participation with the museum.

“The project will transform the Poole Museum estate into a modern, thriving cultural space and community hub that greatly enriches the experience of Poole Quay and Poole Town by the community and visitors,” a cabinet report said.

It added that the work would give the museum “long-term financial sustainability” by increasing visitor numbers and income.

As well as approving the submission of the latest grant bid, councillors also unanimously agreed for just over £1 million to be borrowed to contribute to the total £4.2 million cost.

The remaining funds will be met through the already-received Historic England money, £200,000 from development contributions and £300,000 from “third parties”.

The deadline for the grant application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund is August.

Should the funding be won, the council is aiming to begin work in February 2022 with an aim for it to be completed in September 2024.

The council said that if it is not awarded the grant, work will be limited solely to the Scaplen’s Court with plans for the museum shelved.