Supported by a £1.2million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the redevelopment of the Museum is underway. The main contractor started work on site in mid May 2013. This exciting development will deliver a brand new link building to provide updated visitor facilities, a local history discovery space and over ten new galleries which will exhibit and interpret thousands of artefacts.
The museum in Newbury first opened in October 1904 and by the time the one hundred and tenth anniversary comes around in 2014 this local landmark will be transformed into a lively and vibrant museum welcoming visitors for the next 100 years.
We are working with architects, Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams and main contractors, Feltham Construction Ltd to restore the Grade 1 listed Cloth Hall and Grade 2* listed Corn Stores so these nationally important buildings can be given a new lease of life. Between them the 1934 link building will make way for a brand new link building to provide updated visitor facilities, a local history discovery space and a lift to ensure full accessibility throughout the museum.Aims of the Redevelopment
The Museum needs redeveloping to make it fit for the needs of users and visitors and to deal with problems that have developed over time. We will be:
Carrying out substantial repairs to the historic fabric of the historic Grade I Cloth Hall and Grade II* Corn Stores at the Wharf
Dealing with health and safety issues including fire safety
Enabling all visitors to have full access to all parts of the Museum
Creating displays, exhibitions and interpretative materials that meet the needs of all visitors
Displaying more of the Museum's collections
Providing facilities for formal and informal learning and education
Improving and increasing visitor services and facilities, eg reception, shop, refreshments, toilets. It is also intended to create a new entrance and access hub, replacing a 20th century link building
The theme for the Museum is creating a Sense of Place; this means working with communities to understand what West Berkshire has been, is now and might be in the future.
The capital costs are being met by a combination of Council funding and external sources, including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Greenham Common Trust, The Headley Trust, The Gerald Palmer Eling Trust, Newbury Building Society and the Friends of West Berkshire Museum.