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See Aldeburgh Museum’s £800k plans to ‘reinvigorate its visitor experience’ - and test your history knowledge with this quiz

PUBLISHED: 19:34 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 19:41 15 March 2018

An impression of what the council chambers in the first floor of the Moot Hall would look like under Aldeburgh Museum's improvement plan. Picture: HUDSON ARCHITECTS

An impression of what the council chambers in the first floor of the Moot Hall would look like under Aldeburgh Museum's improvement plan. Picture: HUDSON ARCHITECTS

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The fascinating history of one of Suffolk’s iconic seaside towns could be set for a 21st century revamp if an £800,000 bid is approved this summer.

The ground floor of the Moot Hall would focus on 'Aldeburgh Life'.  Picture: HUDSON ARCHITECTS The ground floor of the Moot Hall would focus on 'Aldeburgh Life'. Picture: HUDSON ARCHITECTS

Aldeburgh Museum said it had “high hopes” its lottery application to transform the historic Moot Hall into a modern exhibition space would get the go ahead in June, allowing work to begin next winter.

The museum tells Aldeburgh’s story from prehistoric times to the present day, including notable figures such as the composer Benjamin Britten and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first female doctor and town mayor. However museum trustees admit its displays have become “lacklustre” and in need of a fresh approach.

The improvements outlined in its lottery bid seek to make use of digital technology to ‘reinvigorate its visitor experience’ and overcome space limitations to reach new audiences.

Trustee chairman Tony Bone said: “It’s going to be a fully modern museum in a timber framed Tudor building.”

The £800,000 project, £745,000 of which would come from the National Lottery, would see the Grade I listed Moot Hall enhanced with modern lighting and new display techniques, including films and tablet devices offering virtual tours. Trustee Roger Williams said there would be a greater focus on the hall itself – which is thought to be Britain’s longest serving town hall – after a survey revealed its visitor appeal.

Exhibitions will be grouped into displays across the two floors of the museum, covering such subjects as The Rise of Aldeburgh, Crime and Punishment, Townfolk and Artists and the Dynamic Sea. Artefacts from the Saxon settlement at Barber’s Point as well as the Snape ship burial will also be rehoused to be easier to view. The museum hopes to reach younger generations through its outreach programme for schools.

Having been awarded £77,000 in 2016 to develop its plans, the museum hopes to receive the rest of the funding this June.

Mr Bone said: “The plans have progressed according to plan and we are very hopeful of success.”

If successful, detailed plans would be designed later this year, with work taking place next winter in time for completion in the first half of 2019.

Trustee chairman 
Tony Bone is confident of the bid's success. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Trustee chairman Tony Bone is confident of the bid's success. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The museum needs to raise £15,000 from local donations and sponsorship.

Email enquiries@aldeburghmuseum.org.uk to find out more.

• Test your Aldeburgh history knowledge by taking part in the online quiz devised by museum trustees.

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