The rotunda in the south end of the gallery will be refurbished.
This means we have been given initial support for a major redevelopment, which could see 500 square metres, or almost a quarter of the venue, transformed and returned to its original architectural design.
The planned £2.8m improvements would also allow more than 1,700 items of fine and decorative to be redisplayed and made more accessible.
A proposed viewing terrace at the south end of the building would give visitors the chance to look out across Port Sunlight and get a real appreciation for the remarkable vision of Lord Lever, who built the gallery and its surroundings for his workers.
There is still a way to go as we now have two years to submit fully developed proposals and compete for a firm award.
Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has accepted our first round application. This project will transform the gallery and breathe new life into the collections. It will also mean improved accessibility for our visitors and greater educational resources for local schools and the community.”
The scheme would be entirely funded through major grants, donations and corporate sponsorship. A £350k gift from a Charitable Trust has already been gratefully received along with £200k from Garfield Weston Foundation.
Take a look at a new video which reveals some of the stunning collection on display at the Lady Lever.