Ipswich Borough Council decides upon next steps to improve Ipswich Museum

Published4th August 2021

Next week, Ipswich Borough Council’s Executive will consider a recommendation to submit an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for funding to improve Ipswich Museum. The same meeting will also decide on Council spending on this proposed project.

The improvement of Ipswich Museum that is being considered includes developing new overarching themes for the museum and its collections, including ‘Pride in Ipswich’, ‘People of Ipswich’ and ‘Changing Landscapes’ that would focus on natural and man-made impacts on the landscape and biodiversity. There would also be a new display, ‘Adventure and Discovery’ and which would show more about the world around us.

The museum would undergo significant change, including new heating, insulation and lighting that would improve both the visitor experience as well as the building’s environmental performance.

Visitor-flow around the Museum would become easier and a new lift near the main staircase at the front of the Museum would create better access up to the first floor, including removing the need for ramps and steps on the ground floor.

Reconfiguration of the internal spaces would also deliver a Digital Learning Space, a larger retail area and a coffee shop with a welcoming external terrace overlooking the southern courtyard.

Cllr Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Museums, says:

“I am very pleased that the Council’s Executive are being asked to consider what is, in our opinion, a strong bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for £4.3m of grant funding to help with the redevelopment of Ipswich Museum. It is also recommended that the Council's Executive reconfirm its financial commitment to this important project.

“This is an excellent plan to improve the Museum. The bid  also supports an exciting events and activity programme that aims to engage Ipswich people with the Museum and its collections. The  public gallery space – for exhibitions and displays - would also increase. We very much hope our bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund is successful and that our much-loved Museum can be improved for the benefit of both Ipswich residents  and visitors.”

For details of the proposals, please the agenda and item reports for the Council’s Executive meeting on 10 August 2021 please see here