A historic Nottinghamshire hall is being turned into a national centre for the study of watch and clock making.
The Heritage lottery fund has awarded the British Horological Institute a £2.8m grant to create the attraction at Upton Hall, near Newark.
It will open in 2018 and feature workshop facilities, to help train and a new generation in the dying art of clock and watchmaking in the UK.
The centre will address the nationwide shortage of horologists, or timepiece experts, by creating new facilities in a derelict stable block and glass house to allow the institute to double the number of students it trains each year.
It will ensure timepieces are made in this country for many years to come
The grade II listed building, which dates back to 1832, will be developed and access to the collection will increase with volunteer support and extended opening hours.
It is hoped the work will help improve the building’s condition – it was recently placed on the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.
The institute’s chief executive, Dudley Giles, said: ” This takes us one step closer to the establishment of a National Centre for Horology at Upton Hall.
“It is also one step closer to securing the future of Upton Hall itself, which is an important and historic building.”
The centre, which will be open daily, will allow members of the public to view students at work and visit exhibitions which include clocks dating back to the 17th Century, the timepiece carried by Captain Scott on his expedition to the Antarctic, and the first two speaking Clocks.
Picture Gallery: See inside the hall and institute as it stands today
With extended opening hours, the centre is hoping for thousands of visitors annually, and special education areas will be set up for hundreds of school children.
Sir Peter Luff, Cahir of The Heritage Lottery Fund said: ” Even as demand for these tradional skills rises the number of people trained has gone into steep decline.
“That is why we saw a pressing need for this National Lottery investment which will ensure timepieces are made, serviced, repaired and conserved for this country for many years to come”.
The Heritage lottery fund has earnmarked £2,852,600 for the project including a development grant of £160,300, which the British Horology Fund will use to progress plans, produce a fully costed proposal, apply for planning permission and submit a second round application.