THE successfully completed regeneration of the former Lye and Wollescote Cemetery Chapels has formed the basis of a new public exhibition.

A free five-panel travelling exhibition is currently on display at the Thomas Robinson Building – the new name for the chapels – for anyone to view during its opening hours.

The display will be based in the Cemetery Road venue until the end of July and it is then intended to be taken out to various sites including libraries and community centres to enable people to learn about £1.2 project.

Researched and written by local authors Jean Weston and Marlene Price, the exhibition provides details on the history of the chapels and cemetery, why they are of national heritage significance, the regeneration and renovation of the chapels that was supported by National Lottery players, and the important work of the West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust.

The building re-opened in March following 13 years and £1,150,000 of funding which was found to safeguard this Victorian landmark, ultimately creating a suite of facilities for use by Dudley Council’s citizenship and registration services.

A grant of more than £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) provided the majority of the funding to help complete the regeneration, with the remainder coming from a number of smaller funders.

During the project, the authors also published two books; the first on the intriguing history of the cemetery and chapels, and the second recalling the exploits of First World War soldiers with graves or commemorations in the cemetery.

Jean and Marlene have also created heritage trails highlighting key graves of prominent local people, the stories associated with them and the graves of those lost in the two World Wars, as well as one tour featuring key buildings and places in the history of the town.

Since the project was completed, a growing band of ‘Friends’ are now volunteering to clear ivy from some of the overgrown graves in the cemetery.