A unique Cumbria-based project to raise awareness of the Holocaust and commemorate the 300 Windermere Children - child survivors of the Holocaust who were brought to the Lake District to recuperate after the Second World War - has taken a major step forward.
The Lake District Paradise Project aims to create a world class visitor experience and learning centre which will tell the Windermere Children’s story as well as the modern history of the area.
Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet today agreed to provide a long lease on Ellerthwaite House, the Windermere library building, to the Lake District Paradise Project (LDPP). Under the terms of the lease, the library building will house the LDPP’s museum and exhibition centre alongside the council-run library service.
This unique partnership formed to commemorate child Holocaust survivors is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.
Cabinet’s approval to grant the long-term lease paves the way for the LDPP to seek external funding from national funding bodies to meet the cost of major refurbishment works throughout the building.
The county council will continue to run local library services from the library building, which will support the local community as it does now. This will complement and sit alongside the LDPP-operated museum and exhibition centre, which will tell the story of the 300 child Holocaust survivors’ journey to the Lake District as well as the modern history of Windermere and the surrounding area, including the Sunderland ‘flying boat’ factory at White Cross Bay and creation of the Calgarth Estate.
The LDPP will aim to build on the success of the ‘From Auschwitz to Ambleside’ exhibition, currently housed on part of the first floor of the library building, which continues to gain international recognition.
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Community Services, said: “I’m delighted Cabinet has approved a long-term lease for Windermere library building. The Lake District Paradise Project has some fantastic plans to create a world class museum and visitor attraction in Windermere. At the same time we can secure the future of an important library building in the heart of the community, which can act as a catalyst to draw in external national funding. It’s a real win-win for the area and I’m really looking forward to seeing this exciting project come to fruition.”
Trevor Avery, Director of LDPP, says “The timing of this is perfect as it comes just as we’re about to enter 2020, the 75th anniversary of when the child survivors arrived in the Lake District from the camps, and also the victory of the world’s democracies over a horrendous tyranny. There can be no better way to celebrate the children’s survival than to commemorate it through a hugely important library and education initiative.”
The Lake District Paradise Project is a registered charity. Its mission is to create a world class visitor experience and learning centre in, and for Windermere that includes and commemorates the continued links between the Lake District, the place and the people, with the child Holocaust survivors and orphans who came to the area in 1945.
For more information, go to http://ldpp.org.uk