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.
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.
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.
Plans for the building were produced in consultation with residents and local groups. Click on the images below to view larger versions.
Conversion of the building is now well underway and will be completed in August/September 2019. The museum designers will then move in to fit out the new display spaces.
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 have now worked 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, running activities and events for schools, groups and residents, and keeping them up to speed on developments in their new museum and community space.
Look out for Kate at our pop-up museums and workshops.
National Lottery Heritage Fund
Following the fantastic news in June 2018 that our phase 2 bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund was successful, the building conversion works are now well underway.
This brings the total National Lottery Heritage Fund contribution to the project to an incredible £950,000.
The sale of the current Town Hall and Museum in Devon Square and St Paul’s Rd will contribute towards the project costs. The preparation of bids to other funders is ongoing.
All donations to the project, no matter how small, are very much appreciated. Please visit the donate page for further details.
Newton is 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.
If you spot him, come and say hello - he's a friendly chap!