Museum of East Anglian Life set to change its name in spring

The Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket will become the Food Museum in March

The Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket will become the Food Museum in March - Credit: Gregg Brown

The Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket has announced it will change its name to the Food Museum.

The centre, which celebrates everything about living in the East of England, said it is filling a gap in becoming the first permanent museum focused on food in the UK.

It said the revamped museum will "connect people with where food comes from and the impact of our choice" after the name change is formalised in March.

A number of events celebrating food and drink, including a beer and brewing festival, are frequently held at the museum near Stowmarket town centre.

The museum regularly hosts festivals celebrating food and drink

The museum regularly hosts festivals celebrating food and drink - Credit: Museum of East Anglian Life

Jenny Cousins, director of the Museum of East Anglian Life, explained the decision had been made to bring the centre into the modern day and tell stories more people could relate to.

She said: "It's all about relevance. The museum was founded when people had first-hand memories of horse-drawn agriculture.

"As a living history museum, it’s important we also represent what people remember today.

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"This is a plan we first formulated back in 2018. We had a 10-year plan to change the site.

"The interesting thing about food is that it is culture. It opens up lots of different avenues of exploration.

"We think this will be a different way of telling the story of East Anglia. It's about being more expansive.

Museum of East Anglian Life director Jenny Cousins

Museum of East Anglian Life director Jenny Cousins - Credit: Gregg Brown

"It's the perfect place for this kind of museum - East Anglia is Britain’s Breadbasket. The museum is evolving and we’re asking people to come on a journey with us."

A statement from the Museum of East Anglian Life said: "The change is motivated by a commitment to interpret our collection in a way which is relevant to modern audiences.

"We think that it is important that we reflect the population, issues and needs of 21st century Britain. Museums shouldn’t be preserved in aspic.

"Food is culture and it is surprising to us that there is no museum of food in the UK already.

"There are brewery tours and chocolate factories, but no museum dedicated to reflecting the heritage of something that all of us need every day and which has preoccupied society for as long as people have existed."