Redevelopment works of Ipswich Museum will continue after councillors gave their full support to the project - which will need a further £2.7m to complete.

Members of Ipswich Borough Council's executive expressed their support on Tuesday to ensure the revamp will be delivered.

Members unanimously decided to apply for a second round of money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) which already takes up half of the project’s bill, for just over £1.36 million.

The project is set to cost a total of £11.4m - around £2.7m more than initially predicted.

Ipswich Star: The museum has been closed since October 2022 to allow for the works to begin.The museum has been closed since October 2022 to allow for the works to begin. (Image: JASON NOBLE LDRS)

Cllr Carole Jones, portfolio holder for planning and museums, said the council had done its best to keep costs low but inflation had spiralled costs.

She told the meeting: “There are improvements that we need to make and this is not an extravagant scheme.

“We have an empty museum, we are going to have to put things back there and do the work we have set ourselves to do — we are where we are here, and we can only go forward.”

The museum has been closed to the public since October 2022 to allow for extensive renovations and expansions, including new exhibits, additional lifts and a new coffee shop.

According to the council report, representatives of the NLHF indicated they would consider a formal application if the council picked up the remaining half of the bill.

However, the application is not guaranteed to be a success and, if so, it would lead to the project being halted altogether for a complete review, delaying it for at least 18 more months.

Cllr Ian Fisher added: “It’s really hard to see what other option we have because we are so far down this road now. If we don’t vote for it we get something that’s not going to be anywhere near what we wanted.”

The next opportunity for a further funding application is later this month, February 22, with a decision expected by the end of June.