Newbury - The Museum will reopen on Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 2014
The museum has benefitted from an amazing £2.26 million transformation which includes restoration of the historic Cloth Hall and Corn Stores, creation of a new link building and visitor facilities, and complete refurbishment of all display and activity spaces to increase the total exhibition area by a third.
Hilary Cole, West Berkshire's Executive Councillor for Culture and Leisure said, "This is an amazing achievement. So much work has gone into the creation of what is now a fantastic public facility where people can learn about the history of West Berkshire. It is a real asset for the district and will provide a great home in which local heritage can be preserved and enjoyed by future generations."
In preparation for the works, volunteers checked and packed almost 20,000 artifacts equating to over five tonnes of collection material. The displays in the ten new Story Stores are planned to be changed regularly so every few months so the collections will be used to their full potential. Alongside this museum staff have also been developing and trialling learning opportunities with local schools that will be provided within the new museum.
Amanda Loaring, Heritage & Tourism Manager at West Berkshire Council said: "I have been working on this project for the last fifteen years and it is great news that the museum is on the verge of reopening. We have tried to create a museum which encourages visitors to discover the past, engage with the present and think about the future of West Berkshire. The facilities are fantastic and the spaces both new and old are inspiring and the team are ready with a very warm welcome."
The museum will be open from Wednesday to Sunday (and Bank Holidays) 10am-4pm and admission is free.
That was then...
...This is now!