A BROMSGROVE open air museum has been boosted by a grant for a major new initiative.

Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings is receiving £69,545 in funding as part of a million pound investment in Midland museums.

Coming from the Arts Council’s Renaissance programme, the money will be used to create a team of trained staff who will use costumes and live performances to bring the stories behind the museum’s collections to life.

Simon Carter, director of the Stoke heath-based museum, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding and are grateful to the Arts Council for the tremendous opportunity it gives us to develop what we offer to visitors and volunteers at Avoncroft.

"We’re looking forward to working with such a great range of partners and there will certainly be a lot that we can learn from each other over the course of the project."

It is hoped the new team will give visitors a more entertaining and insightful understanding of the collections.

Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England, said: “Investing in museums is important if we are to make the most of our country’s heritage and the rich cultural offer it presents."

The museum has launched a volunteering drive to support the new initiative.

Volunteers will become re-enactors dressing in historically accurate costumes and will be given training on how to interact with visitors and historical re-enactments.

No prior knowledge is required but volunteers need to have enthusiasm, commitment and a genuine interest in history. Ideally, volunteers will be able to commit to a regular day at the museum during July and August when training will be taking place with museum professionals. Positions are voluntary but travel expenses are offered.

Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call Julia Morris on  01527 831363, Wednesdays and Thursdays only, or email volunteer@avoncroft.org.uk.