DETAILS of the Poole Museum Renovation and Improvement Plan have been filed with local planners.
The project involves changes to the internal layout to create new gallery spaces and a learning center, new windows, better roof insulation and a larger elevator.
The details of the proposals for the Grade 1 listed building are contained in nearly thirty documents submitted to the BCP board.
The museum says changes to the interior of the building will improve the connection between the main building and Wool Hall, also known as The Town Cellars, and create new maritime galleries on the ground floor. The Wool Hall itself is in need of “significant” conservation work.
Previously, private rooms will also be opened as state-of-the-art galleries and a new learning center created with the relocation of the museum cafe to Scaplen’s Court.
“The Poole Museum will be transformed into a world-class cultural and community center that will greatly enrich the experience of Poole Quay and the Old Town for Poole residents and visitors,” a statement said in one of the documents filed with the application.
Further planning requests are expected for Scaplen’s Court and the public space outside the museum to create what has been described as “a bustling place at the end of the High Street”.
Comments on the request can be made until August 10 with a decision on the request expected to be made by a council planning officer. All proposals can be viewed on the PCO website.
The museum says it hopes the new gallery space will allow it to attract national traveling exhibitions to the city.
Funding of £ 2.2million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is requested with £ 352,000 of lottery funds used for preparation work.
A public event was held at the museum in March to present the plans.
At the time, Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Tourism, Leisure and Culture portfolio holder, said: “The consultation shows people want to see Poole’s unique heritage preserved and celebrated.
“They also want a modern, digital approach. Visitors also want more traveling exhibitions to come to Poole.
“Subject to final approval, we will be able to advance this exciting transformation here in Poole for the benefit of both locals and visitors to our beautiful historic district…
“The proposals should see the Poole Museum and Scaplen’s Court not only transform the local cultural offering, but also contribute to the regeneration of Poole.
“Having a modern and popular attraction in the heart of Poole showcases our rich local heritage, adds boom to the city and will help rejuvenate and enrich this special place. ”
The museum is slated to host a Thomas Hardy exhibit in 2022 before closing for improvements and reopening for Easter 2024.