Museum transformation work will help create 'sense of pride' in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 05:30 24 December 2018
Ipswich Museum has been awarded almost half a million pounds to help start renovation plans which it hopes will create a sense of pride in the town.
A total of £461,600 of Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) has been awarded which will be used to prepare plans for a larger £8million refurbishment of the site in High Street it has been announced.
The grade II* listed building will see a number of changes with a stripping back of the building to its 19th century interior.
New displays and activity programmes will be added to the museum as well as extra gallery space, a new cafe, shop area, educational space and toilets which are also included in the main plans.
As part of the renovation work the museum wants to reinterpret its own collections and hopes to work with communities in Ipswich to gather new stories and start new conversations.
It hopes that this work will help people “gain a sense of pride in their town” by helping them understand Ipswich’s past while also looking to its future.
Ipswich Borough Council said the new-look museum’s return to its Victorian roots would help to celebrate the innovation of the Victorians while challenging their world view.
James Steward, Ipswich Museums manager, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Ipswich to create a community-conscious museum that meets the needs of our diverse audiences and to present its unique heritage with confidence to the wider world.”
The museum itself was founded in the 19th century to help educate the working classes about natural history.
Carole Jones, museums portfolio-holder at Ipswich Borough Council said: “We are delighted to receive this support thanks to National Lottery players.
“The opportunity to do something really special and imaginative with our fantastic collections in a building that was specifically designed to showcase them to the public is an exciting one and we are looking forward to working with our communities and the HLF to take this project to the next stage.”
Detailed proposals for the museum’s plans will now be considered by the HLF. If successful the museum could receive another £4.3million in funding.