Following the fantastic news in June 2018 that our phase 2 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund was successful, preparation for the building conversion is underway. Tenders for the construction work are currently being considered, and we expect that the chosen contractor will start on site in October 2018. The anticipated opening date for the new facility is early 2020.
The development of a new museum is a great opportunity to ‘think outside the box’ and to develop a really exciting and creative space! Interactive museum displays will make visits enjoyable and memorable, and galleries will change regularly so new objects will always be available to view. The focus of the new museum will be to tell the stories of local people and the development of the local area.
A ‘Your Space’ area within the museum will allow the community to curate their own displays. Digitisation of archives, such as photographs and key documents, will help with family research and school or college projects.
Visitors will also benefit from the specialist knowledge of local partner organisations such as the Stover Canal Trust, Ball Clay Society and Friends of the Railway Studies Collection Library. Additional themed exhibitions will attract visitors from further afield, and will encourage them to stay longer in the town, supporting the local economy. A higher profile in the town centre will increase the number of tourists that visit, allowing us to benefit from the huge influx of visitors to the area in the summer months.
Admission to the museum will remain free, although there may be a small charge for some temporary exhibitions. The new museum will extend its opening hours to include Saturdays and the winter months.
Activities & Events
A rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, history lectures, events, workshops and activities for all ages will be developed, so there will always be something new to see and do.
There will be more opportunities for school and group visits, especially with the convenience of a central location, within a fully accessible building, and having the availability of public transport and parking close-by.
We will establish a ‘Cultural Quarter’ to connect the community with its heritage.
The museum and Passmore Edwards Centre library will work together on joint projects, including activities, tours and talks.
These activities will also incorporate the recently refurbished Golden Lion Square and the medieval St Leonard’s Tower.
We hope the new space will enable visitors to:
- Have an enjoyable and fun time
- Try something new
- Be inspired, surprised and amazed!
- Think differently about the town and the area
- Learn something: explore and find out more
- Share their stories and help to develop future displays