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We aim to create an accessible community space that celebrates local heritage and challenges pre-conceived ideas of what a museum and town council should be, by operating in one welcoming environment. A unique chance to start anew, we will develop a purpose-built space that will fulfil community needs.

The project will bring a building that has had strong community connections back to life as a community space. It will create greater access, improved interpretation, and better care for the museum collection. It will be a place for learning and inspiration, with flexible community rooms providing space for exciting events, workshops and exhibitions. 

Building Design

The £2m Newton’s Place project involves conversion and restoration of a disused, Grade II listed, Victorian church building near the centre of Newton Abbot - the former St Leonard’s Church on Wolborough Street.

Newton Abbot Town Council and Newton Abbot Town & Great Western Railway Museum will relocate to the new building from Devon Square.

The external and internal building structures will form part of the new museum displays and a first floor will be installed to provide rooms for a variety of community uses.

Following consultation with residents and groups, plans have been produced and planning permission has been obtained. Click on the images below to view larger versions.


Museum Design

Exciting new displays are being developed around flexible key themes, incorporating ideas from our ongoing community consultation and visitor surveys. Explanations and interactives for all ages will bring the stories to life and information will be made accessible in different forms to cater for a variety of needs. Click on the small images below to see larger versions of the design visuals.


The larger space means that we will be able to bring items from the stores for the very first time. Museum staff and volunteers are currently working their way through the collection to decide which of the 17,000 items will go on display.



Community Engagement Officer, Kate Green, is going out and about in the local area asking schools, groups and residents what they would like to see in their new museum and community space.

Look out for Kate at our pop-up museums, workshops and events where she will also be gathering more feedback on the museum designs.

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

Following the fantastic news in June 2018 that our phase 2 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) 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.

This brings the total HLF funding for the project to an incredible £950,000.

Other Funding

The sale of the current Town Hall and Museum in Devon Square and St Paul’s Rd will contribute towards the project costs. We are busy preparing bids to other funders for the remainder of the money.

All donations to the project, no matter how small, are very much appreciated. Please visit the donate page for further details.

Meet Newton

Newton is the newest recruit to the team, giving a helping hand with the promotion and marketing of the town, including events, activities and projects.

He will be out and about on a regular basis at both Newton's Place and Town Council events.

If you spot him, come and say hello - he's a friendly chap!

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