Crawley Museum has been given a £1.15million Christmas present in the form of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The money will go towards moving the museum from its current home in Goffs Park to the town centre.
The grant was approved following an application from Crawley Borough Council in partnership with the Crawley Museum Society.
Work on the new museum, which will be located in The Tree and The Tree Annexe, on the corner of the High Street and The Boulevard, is expected to start in April 2015 and take around 18 months to complete.
The Grade II listed building dates back to around 1280.
The total cost of the project will be £1.95m – and the council has already agreed to spend £763,000 to refurbish The Tree and bring it up to standard.
Planning permission, which was a stipulation of the bid, has already been granted.
Helen Poole, curator of Crawley Museum, said: “This news is a great Christmas present – we’re absolutely delighted to hear the news.
“The HLF’s financial commitment, on top of Crawley Borough Council’s support and input, will enable us to expand the museum service to take account of all the rich diversity and heritage of Crawley in a fine setting.”
Cllr Duncan Crow, cabinet member for leisure and culture, welcomed the news and said: “The new museum will provide a massive boost to the regeneration and heritage in the town, giving the museum a much more central location from which to inform, educate and entertain.”
The council and museum society lodged an initial bid of £998,555 with the HLF in June 2011 to cover alterations which would make The Tree and its annexe a suitable location for a museum.
The bid was accepted in October 2011.
A public consultation was held in March and April this year before the final bid documentation was submitted in August.