Redevelopment work for the multimillion-pound revamp project at Ipswich Museum has been brought forward.

Ipswich Borough Council has stated that key work at the museum, in High Street in the town centre, is set to start at the end of this month. 

The museum has been closed since October 2022 to carry out work to restore, refurbish and improve the purpose-built Grade II* listed building. 

However, the project has gone £2.7million over budget because of additional costs, ongoing high price levels and inflation - with the total costs now reaching £11.4m.

The costs are funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), Ipswich Borough Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Wolfson Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Friends of Ipswich Museum and Lord Belstead Trust.

Ipswich Star: The project has gone £2.7m over budgetThe project has gone £2.7m over budget (Image: Ipswich Borough Council)

The latest phase of construction at the building will look to enhance its exterior and interior, preserving its Victorian architecture and refurbishing the existing galleries.

Ipswich Borough Council’s portfolio holder for parks and museums, Carole Jones, said: “Many necessary improvements needed to happen for Ipswich Borough Council to keep providing access to such an exceptional late Victorian building for visitors, whilst maintaining its Grade II* listed features.

“Once the key base-build construction phase is completed, other planned redevelopment works at the museum will continue as part of the larger ongoing project to enhance and redisplay Ipswich’s internationally significant collections. 

"When Ipswich Museum reopens, visitors can expect a beautifully restored museum that can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Ipswich Star: Cllr Jones said that this is a key phase of the development worksCllr Jones said that this is a key phase of the development works (Image: Charlotte Bond)

The borough council has now appointed contractors Gipping Construction to carry out the crucial base-build construction elements of the redevelopment

Ms Jones added that the contractors bring a wealth of experience that will help preserve the museum's features. 

The work is due to start next week and is expected to take a year to complete ahead of the museum's opening, which is expected to be in the summer of 2025.