There are big plans for Poole Museum.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund gave the museum a grant of £352,000 to progress its plans and in April BCP Council’s cabinet will consider approving the detailed proposals for a second round of funding amounting to £2.2m.
Funding has also been awarded by Historic England as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone for Poole High Street.
Poole Museum and Scaplen’s Court will be both a heritage attraction and a community hub in the ‘Quay Quarter’, to support the rejuvenation of the Lower High Street and Quay. Poole Museum’s buildings will be conserved and new spaces opened-up to the public for the first time. New visitor facilities and better access will be integral to the plans.
One new addition will be the Fine Foundation Gallery – supported by a donation of £100,000 from the Fine Family Foundation – a new space hosting temporary exhibitions. This will offer state-of-the-art facilities attracting national touring exhibitions.
Cllr Mohan Iyengar, portfolio holder for Tourism Leisure and Culture said, “Consultation shows that people want to see Poole’s unique heritage conserved and celebrated. They also want to see a modern and digital approach.
“The proposals are set to see Poole Museum and Scaplen’s Court not only transforming the local cultural offering but adding to the regeneration of Poole.
Ross Simmonds, regional director for the South West at Historic England, said, “Poole Museum is a well-known and valued cultural attraction, but Scaplen’s Court – an outstanding example of a late medieval merchant’s house – is very under-used. Once sensitively renovated and opened up, it will offer a great deal to residents and visitors alike – from educating future generations about Poole’s unique heritage to bringing communities together.”
The museum is expected to host the Thomas Hardy exhibition in 2022 before closing for improvement works and reopening for Easter 2024.
Plans will be unveiled during an online public event on 26 March at 7pm hosted by the Museum Team. An online survey will also go live on this date. To find out more, register for a place at the online event and to take part in the survey from 26 March visit https://haveyoursay.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/poole-museum.
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