Friends of Ipswich Museum awarded £150,000 by foundation for museum redevelopment

Published20th June 2022

The Friends of the Ipswich Museums is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a grant of £150,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation to help support Ipswich Borough Council’s redevelopment of Ipswich Museum. This £8.7m project that is part-funded by a substantial award from the National Heritage Lottery Fund will see the transformation of Ipswich Museum and help to redefine it in being accessible, relevant, enjoyable and memorable for all parts of the community for generations to come.

The Friends of the Ipswich Museums (registered charity number 1184000) exists to champion the work of the Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service (CIMS) at their three important cultural and heritage sites in Ipswich – the Museum, Ipswich Art Gallery and Christchurch Mansion. This includes supporting the acquisition of new objects (including works by Gainsborough, Constable and Turner), bringing inspirational and world-class temporary exhibitions to Ipswich, encouraging the public to engage with their museums, and enabling CIMS to carry out capital works to better present the collections and improve the sites for the benefit of all visitors and staff.

Established in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making charity which generously supports causes across the UK. One of the most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are descendants of the founder and they take a highly active and hands-on approach. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business, which includes Twinings, Primark, Kingsmill (all part of Associated British Foods Plc) and Fortnum & Mason, amongst others.

Richard Wilson, Chair of the Friends, said:

“This grant is an acknowledgement of the museum’s excellent redevelopment plans, and of the positive relationship that our charity has with the Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service and with Ipswich Borough Council.”

Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Museums Carole Jones commented:

“I am very pleased to hear that the Friends of Ipswich Museum have won this funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation. This will be a great help in our refurbishment of the Ipswich Museum. The Friends of Ipswich Museum have been a constant support for the museum and like them, we are looking forward to its transformation.”

Work on the Museum regeneration project will begin later this year with the reopening scheduled for the spring of 2025.