Devizes-based Wiltshire Heritage Museum has been awarded £370,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to support plans to create a new gallery focusing on their Bronze Age archaeological collections.

It will tell the story of the people who built and used the world renowned monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury. The new Prehistoric Galleries will provide an opportunity to display for the first time in generations the unique gold and amber finds from Wiltshire that date back to the Bronze Age, over 4,000 years ago.

The museum will be able to build on its existing learning and outreach programme, and inspire local people and visitors to become engaged and informed about the prehistoric landscapes of Wiltshire.

The story to be told at the museum forms part of an integrated approach to the interpretation of Stonehenge.

The Stonehenge Museums Partnership links the museum with new galleries being developed at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre by English Heritage and new galleries being planned at the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

English Heritage is supporting the project with a major grant to the museum.

Chairman Negley Harte said: "We are delighted in this massive confidence in us, as this project is vital for the future sustainability of the museum. "The grants from the HLF and English Heritage will enable us to develop this new gallery to tell the stories of this unique collection in a more engaging way.

"It will bring more visitors to the museum, help us with our battle to make the museum financially sustainable and bring economic development to Devizes."

Richard Bellamy, acting Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: "These Neolithic and Bronze Age collections provide a fascinating insight into our prehistoric past, and they have the potential to play a key role in telling the wider story of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.

"The creation of this new gallery will give visitors from near and far the chance to learn about and enjoy these nationally important collections, and the 4,000-years of human history that they represent."

Stonehenge Director, Loraine Knowles said: "English Heritage is delighted to be working with Wiltshire Heritage Museum to realise the long held vision of telling a more holistic story of Stonehenge. "The museum’s new gallery will complement perfectly what we are planning for the visitor centre."