The museum will close at the end of October 2022 with building work taking place during 2023 and reopening planned for 2024.
During closure the museum will take to the road, taking Poole’s unique stories and heritage to the local community through a programme of outreach and events, with the chance to get ‘behind the scenes’.
The £7.7m redevelopment project will see Poole Museum working closely with Poole Museum Foundation. The project will include urgent conservation to the stonework walls of the Grade I listed medieval Wool Hall. The original proportions of the building will be restored by raising the floor and revealing the impressive stone and intricate timber structure.
The ambitious new plans will include the ‘Shipwreck’ gallery, one of three, which will open in 2024.
Poole Museum is to receive funding of £200,000 to support ‘Shipwreck’.
Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, which has provided the grant said: “The Wolfson Foundation aims to support civil society by investing in research and education – surely ever more crucial during this challenging period.
“Our latest round of awards demonstrates the importance of capital funding for communities across the UK. The new buildings, refurbishments and equipment funded by the Foundation will support learning, enhance wellbeing and advance scientific research. While many and varied, the projects have one thing in common: they are places for people to connect, and they support imaginative and excellent work.”
“I can’t think of anything more exciting or intriguing than funding ‘Shipwreck’ – a gallery which will entice and interest visitors of all ages.”
New interpretation and interactive displays will be developed with local communities.
Shipwreck will tell the story of medieval Wool Hall building and the maritime archaeology story of Poole Harbour and surrounding waters that stretches from the iron age to today.
Cllr Beverley Dunlop, cabinet member for Tourism, Culture and Vibrant Places at BCP Council said: “We really welcome the generous support of the Wolfson Foundation who share our ambitious vision for the future of Poole Museum. We are opening up opportunities for our community and visitors to get involved and discover local heritage. We are putting culture at the heart of rejuvenating Poole – a key priority for the Council.”
Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone the redevelopment project will see Poole Museum transformed into an outstanding cultural centre and thriving community hub at the heart of a new vibrant ‘Quay Quarter’.
There will be three new permanent maritime galleries, a larger temporary exhibition gallery bringing major touring exhibitions to Poole, important historic buildings will be conserved and new spaces opened-up to the public for the first time. There will be a new schools programme as well as events for the local community and visitors. New visitor facilities and better access for all are integral to the plans.
A new temporary exhibition, Hardy’s Wessex: The landscapes that inspired a writer, is currently showing at Poole Museum until Sunday 30 October.
Entry to Poole Museum is free, exhibition charges apply.
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