ECSTATIC staff at a Worcestershire museum are celebrating after being given over £2 million to help maintain the 500-year-old building. 

The Almonry in Evesham has been granted £2,173,500 by The Museum Estate and Development Fund for "desperate" repairs and restoration. 

Ashleigh Jayes, Almonry manager, said: "We are ecstatic, we knew we had been awarded the money for the past couple of months, but officially only since March 25. 

"We can't believe it, it's a lifeline for this building. 

"Originally I thought that it had to be a joke, but after reading it three times, it eventually sank in."

The Almonry was put on the At Risk Registry by Historic England in 2016, a list of buildings at risk of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development. 

A series of studies and surveys have since been completed to assess the scale of the work needed for the restoration. 

Evesham Journal: Evesham: The Almonry museum Evesham: The Almonry museum (Image: Ashleigh Jayes)

Miss Jayes continued: "We had to submit an expression of interest plan before we applied. 

"It was a long wait to find out, but we could have lost the building if we had not been awarded the money. 

"It's a big job and it's a long list, but it's all necessary to keep the building going.

"We need to get specialist builders in because it's a grade one listed building. 

"The money will be used to repair and restore the building, including stripping the roof, replacing the slate with Cotswold stone, replacing plaster, fixing the stonework, installing all new heating and lights, and adding some new toilets."

The repairs and restoration is only phase one, with phase two including a complete refurbishment of the building, including adding new displays. 

Jo Adams, Evesham Town Council clerk, said: "Evesham Town Council is absolutely delighted with the grant award. 

"The Almonry team have worked fantastically hard over the last few years and we look forward to the opportunity to return the Almonry to its former glory and be there for future generations."

Built over 500 years ago, The Almonry used to home the Almoner, a monk from the Benedictine Abbey.

The Almonry is now a museum, owned and funded by Evesham Town Council.