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29 March 2010, 09:17
A disused magistrates' court in Southampton has been awarded a £4.6 million lottery grant to transform it into a maritime museum.
The Grade II listed building, which has been used to reel criminals into the dock for decades, is being converted into Southampton Sea City Museum. Situated in the heart of the Cultural Quarter, Sea City Museum will house two permanent galleries. Gateway to the World will examine the city's role in the global context of emigration and immigration over 2,000 years, and Southampton's Titanic Story will recount "previously untold'' stories of the 549 Southampton people who lost their lives on the ship in 1912.
There will also be space for temporary exhibitions. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) cash will allow Southampton City Council to develop the project. The building was designed in the 1930s and has been empty since 2001, the HLF said. Carole Souter, chief executive of HLF, said: "Southampton Sea City Museum will be an exciting addition to the city's cultural quarter and will remind people of its important contribution to the UK's maritime heritage. Heritage Lottery Fund money is helping Southampton's council create a place which tells the fascinating and moving stories surrounding Southampton's Dockyard.''
Six projects have received initial HLF backing which means they have passed the first hurdle and will go on to compete for a firm award.