£7.7m project will see Poole Museum go ‘on the road’

The museum will close at the end of October 2022 with construction work in 2023 and a planned reopening in 2024.

During the closure, the museum will be hitting the road, bringing Poole’s unique stories and heritage to the local community through an outreach and events programme, with the opportunity to go ‘behind the scenes’.

The £7.7 million redevelopment project will see the Poole Museum work closely with the Poole Museum Foundation. The project will include the urgent conservation of the stone walls of the medieval Grade I listed Woolen Hall. The original proportions of the building will be restored by raising the ground and revealing the impressive intricate stone and timber structure.

The ambitious new plans will include the “Shipwreck” gallery, one of three, which will open in 2024.

The Poole Museum will receive £200,000 in funding to support ‘Shipwreck’.

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, which awarded the grant, said: “The Wolfson Foundation aims to support civil society by investing in research and education – surely increasingly crucial in these difficult times.

“Our latest round of awards demonstrates the importance of capital funding to communities across the UK. New buildings, renovations and equipment funded by the Foundation will support learning, improve well-being and advance scientific research. Although many and varied, the projects have one thing in common: they are places where people can connect and they support imaginative and excellent work.

“I can’t imagine anything more exciting or intriguing than funding ‘Shipwreck’ – a gallery that will attract and engage visitors of all ages.”

New interpretations and interactive exhibits will be developed with local communities.

Shipwreck will tell the story of the medieval construction of Wool Hall and the story of the maritime archeology of Poole Harbor and surrounding waters which spans from the Iron Age to the present day.

Cllr Beverley Dunlop, Cabinet Member for BCP Council Tourism, Culture and Vibrant Places, said: “We truly welcome the generous support of the Wolfson Foundation who share our ambitious vision for the future of Poole Museum. We provide our community and visitors with opportunities to engage and learn about local heritage. We are putting culture at the heart of Poole’s rejuvenation – 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 exceptional cultural center and thriving community center in the heart of a vibrant new ‘Quay Quarter’.

There will be three new permanent maritime galleries, a larger temporary exhibitions gallery bringing major traveling exhibitions to Poole, significant historic buildings will be retained and new spaces will be open to the public for the first time. There will be a new school program as well as events for the local community and visitors. New visitor facilities and better access for all are an integral part of the plans.

A new temporary exhibition, Hardy’s Wessex: The Landscapes that Inspired a Writer, is currently on view at the Poole Museum until Sunday 30 October.

Entrance to the Poole Museum is free, exhibition fees apply.

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