£23m Black Country Living Museum expansion passes final hurdle

By Jamie Brassington | Dudley | Attractions | Published:

A £23 million expansion of the Black Country Living Museum has passed the final hurdle after receiving crucial funding.

The Black Country Living Museum is expanding

The expansion involves creating a 1940s-60s town and will create 143 new jobs.

The cash, £9.4 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will now allow work to start on the project, called Forging Ahead.

The town, which will cost £23m in total, will focus on the Black Country’s history after the Second World War. Work will start in Autumn and finish in 2022.

WATCH: How 1940-60s town will look

Fly through Black Country Living Museum 1940s-60s town plans

Lowell Williams, chairman of the museum, said: “We are absolutely delighted to secure this funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and would very much like to thank National Lottery players for making such support possible.

"After an 18-month development phase in which we have honed and refined our plans, we are confident that this project is the best it can be and we’re excited to actually get started on it this summer.”



Historic buildings will be recreated in the new town including the former Elephant & Castle pub of Wolverhampton.

It was a watering hole for a diverse community with Irish, Jamaican and South Asian workers meeting there to drink and play dominoes.

Other items to go on display will be 1950s hairdressing equipment, butcher’s equipment and gas cookers.

A training centre will also be built alongside an exhibition, cafe and shop.


West Midlands Mayor Andy Street welcomed the announcement saying the town will represent ‘a real crown’ in the Black Country. He also welcomed the creation of new jobs.

Mr Street said: “BCLM: Forging Ahead highlights the Museum’s ambition to create a real jewel in the crown in the Black Country.

“Once complete, this project will create opportunities for new jobs, volunteering and skills development during what is an economic renaissance for the region.

“The Black Country has an incredibly rich heritage and it is great the Museum portrays it so well.”

Ninder Johal, board member of the Black Country Local Enterprise partnership, added: “This project will play a major role in the regeneration of Dudley – strengthening the visitor economy, creating circa 143 jobs within our local area and raising the profile of the region as a place to live, work, learn, visit and invest.”

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at


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