Ipswich Museum hits £4m lottery jackpot for transformation plans

An artist's impression of Rosie the Rhino in the Wonders Gallery at the new-look Ipswich Museum

An artist's impression of Rosie the Rhino in the Wonders Gallery at the new-look Ipswich Museum - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

More than £4.3million in lottery cash has been awarded to help transform Ipswich Museum.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant will go towards an £8.7m redevelopment project, which should be completed by summer 2025. 

A new coffee shop will be one of the improvements to Ipswich Museum

A new coffee shop will be one of the improvements to Ipswich Museum - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

One of the town's best-loved buildings, Ipswich Museum is a late Victorian, Grade II* listed purpose-built building, which opened in 1881.

These images show how it will look - with additional gallery space, new educational space, a new café, improved shop area and more.

How the Discoveries Gallery will look in the transformed Ipswich Museum

How the Discoveries Gallery will look in the transformed Ipswich Museum - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council's portfolio holder for museums, welcomed the £4,324,800 grant.

She said: “We are delighted to receive this support, thanks to National Lottery players. This redevelopment will do something really special and imaginative with our wonderful collections, in a building that was specifically designed to showcase them to the public.

An artist's impression of the Creations Gallery in the new-look Ipswich Museum

An artist's impression of the Creations Gallery in the new-look Ipswich Museum - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

"We are looking forward to working with the people of Ipswich and the Heritage Fund to inspire a new generation through Ipswich Museum.”

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Anne Jenkins, director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to support Ipswich Museum with its ambitious project to redevelop its museum and reinterpret its collections.

The Journeys Gallery in the new-look Ipswich Museum, as seen in an artist's impression

The Journeys Gallery in the new-look Ipswich Museum, as seen in an artist's impression - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

"With thanks to National Lottery players, this project will enable the museum to bring their amazing collections to life in new ways and be much more engaging for local people and visitors alike.

"It will showcase Ipswich’s rich history in a way that everyone can enjoy and be proud of.”

An artist's impression of Ipswich Museum's reception area following the £8million project

An artist's impression of Ipswich Museum's reception area following the £8million project - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

Ipswich Borough Council funding will also pay £3.6m in capital funding, after it decided in August to stump up an extra £500,000 due to the project's increased costs.

Other funding will include £40,000 from Friends of the Ipswich Museums, £450,000 which will be raised through fundraising with trusts and other charitable foundations, plus £300,000 of various other contributions, including volunteer time.

A story wall will be one of the attractions at the new-look Ipswich Museum

A story wall will be one of the attractions at the new-look Ipswich Museum - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

As part of the project, new heating, insulation and lighting will significantly improve the building’s environment.

Visitor flow will be improved by raising the internal floor levels, to remove the need for ramps and steps within the ground-floor galleries.

Ipswich Museum is home to a variety of treasures and artefacts

Ipswich Museum is set for an £8.7million revamp - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

There will also be a new lift for better access to the first floor and new public toilets in the basement.

An artist's impression of Ipswich Museum's reception area following the £8million project

An artist's impression of Ipswich Museum's reception area following the £8million project - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

An artist's impression of how the Wonders Gallery balcony will look at Ipswich Museum 

An artist's impression of how the Wonders Gallery balcony will look at Ipswich Museum - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

An artist's impression of the Wonders Gallery at Ipswich Museum in future

An artist's impression of the Wonders Gallery at Ipswich Museum in future - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council


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