Ipswich Borough Council, in partnership with The Friends of the Ipswich Museums and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) are embarking on an ambitious project that aims to breathe new life into the museum, transforming it into an exciting cultural hub filled with energy, activity and debate.
Creating a first-class museum for everyone in Ipswich
Consultation with our local community has shown there is a huge appetite to make Ipswich Museum a more relevant, exciting, and welcoming place to visit. We now have an opportunity to transform Ipswich Museum, creating a place that fills modern-day visitors with a feeling of wonder, excitement and discovery – the same feeling that the first visitors to Ipswich Museum would have experienced. To do this we propose to:
- Redesign every gallery using refreshed, object rich displays, and interactive media to bring these collections to life.
- Improve presentation of the heritage, collections and stories relating to Ipswich.
- Incorporate community participation to better understand the history and acquisition of the collections based around colonial legacies, whilst valuing different perspectives and forms of knowledge.
- Create new spaces, buzzing with activity, opening up new ways to engage visitors with their heritage and the stories we tell. This will include a new coffee shop facility and flexible spaces for learning, events, programming and hire.
- Reveal, restore and reinstate features of the original Victorian building, making physical repairs to ensure the long-term access and safety of the collections.
- Improve access throughout the museum, including installing a new lift, taking into account the access needs of all visitors.
- Collaborate with community partners to create opportunities for volunteering and training.
The funding application to the NLHF is due for submission in August 2021, with project delivery starting Spring 2022.
Project costs are in the region of £8.1m, based on a contribution of £3.8m from Ipswich Borough Council and other Trusts and Foundations, with the remaining £4.3m from NLHF.