The Minister responded to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s announcement that its biggest ever award in Wales has been made to the Creu Hanes - Making History project, which is part of a £25m programme of improvements to the Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales attraction, recently named the UK’s favourite visitor attraction in a survey by consumer magazine Which?
The Welsh Government is also supporting the project and has already earmarked £6m match funding for the scheme.
The Creu Hanes - Making History project aims to build on the museum’s popularity and combine the strengths of an open-air museum with those of a conventional museum. It will create an exciting new visitor experience integrating archaeology and social history collections for the first time and will tell the story of the people of Wales over the last 250,000 years.
This project will see the creation of a multi-purpose building featuring a gallery and activity space, open air archaeology zones at locations across the site and enhanced visitor facilities including a café.
Mr Lewis said:
"I am delighted that Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales has won this vote of confidence from the Heritage Lottery Fund. St Fagans is already the UK’s favourite visitor attraction and a world class facility, but this new project will ensure that it is a world leader.
"This redevelopment will provide the people of Wales with excellent opportunities to learn more about their culture and heritage, and it will attract many more visitors from further afield, providing a very welcome boost to our economy. The Welsh Government is providing significant match funding for this project, recognising its ambition and strategic benefit for the whole of Wales. I very much look forward seeing the project taking shape.''
Established as a museum in 1948, St Fagans was the first open-air museum in the UK and, as one of Wales’ first national institutions it has an important part in defining the modern Welsh identity. It currently tells the story of how the people of Wales lived, worked and spent their leisure time over the last 500 years.
Entry to St Fagans, along with all the museums of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales is free thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.