THE Black Country Living Museum has received a half a million pounds boost for its ambitious Forging Ahead project.

Philanthropist Alexander Patrick, trustee of The Patrick Foundation of Kings Norton, visited the Tipton Road museum on Friday to finalise the generous gift, which will help create a new 1940-1960s development featuring a working library, shops, a doctor’s surgery and bowling green.

To drive the project forward even further, Mr Patrick also donated five vintage vehicles - including an extremely rare Alvis speed Saloon - from the Patrick Collection to the museum and pledged an annual donation of £30,000 for the next decade to help maintain the collection.

Mr Patrick said: “I have had a long association with Black Country Living Museum and am delighted that, after discussions with the museum some years ago, The Patrick Foundation is now forming a long term relationship in recognition of the museum’s outstanding contribution to the Black Country’s heritage.

"My grandfather, Albert M Patrick, started his career with Britannic Assurance in 1898 as assistant district manager at their Wolverhampton offices thus providing a further strong and 120 year connection with the region.”

Andrew Lovett, museum director, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive such a generous donation from The Patrick Foundation towards our exciting project for the museum, its visitors and the wider community.

"I personally can’t wait to see the vintage vehicles help bring our new 1940-60s town to life.”

The museum has now launched a fundraising campaign to raise the final £1.9m for the £21.7m Forging Ahead project.

To make a donation or to find out more about the plans, visit