FIGUREHEADS involved in the Windermere Steamboat Museum have praised the granting of planning permission for the new £13 million tourist attraction.

Applicants, the Lakeland Arts Trust won planning permission from the Lake District National Park Authority this week, having recently won a key £200,000 grant from South Lakeland District Council.

The new museum is expected to open in 2015.

Martin Ainscough is the chairman of the Lakeland Arts Trust which also runs Blackwell Arts and Crafts House near Bowness, and Kendal's Abbot Hall Art Gallery.

He said: “We are very pleased that the project has been recognised by planning committee members as a world class attraction that will bring major benefits to the Lake District.

'It is fantastic to receive an unanimous decision and to have such strong support from the Lake District National Park. ”

Meanwhile, Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, said: ‘I’m delighted it has secured planning approval for its great new buildings.

'Its good to see modern design being carefully applied to our spectacular setting. I wish them well with the next stages of the development’

The design architects for the new building are the London-based Carmody Groarke. Architects Carmody Groarke were appointed to the project following a design competition in 2011.

The competition received 114 entries and Carmody Groarke’s design was chosen by the panel who felt they had produced a 'memorable and sensitive design proposal'.

Andrew Groarke said: “This wonderful news is an important milestone in realising the plans for the Museum and is testament to the work of a very large project team led by the Lakeland Arts Trust.”

The Lakeland Arts Trust said the £13.4 million project will 'transform the Windermere Steamboat museum enabling it to re-open to the public so that local people and visitors can once again enjoy seeing the unique collection of boats'.

The historic collection tell the history of over 200 years of leisure, industry and trade on Windermere.

The trust explained that the proposals are for a 'cluster of simple building forms arranged to frame and connect views to boats, views to water and views to distant landscape horizons.'

The Lakeland Arts Trust received a first round pass and development funding of £494,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2011.

The second round application for a confirmed grant was submitted in March 2013 and the Trust expects a decision in July.

The Trust is continuing its fundraising campaign to raise £3.4 million to match the HLF grant and has achieved £3 million so far.

Further details about the Windermere Steamboat Museum please visit: