Museum looks to the future as refurb starts this winter

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Major work designed to give a north Northumberland attraction an ‘exciting transformation’ is set to start later this year.

Alnwick’s Bailiffgate Museum is to undergo a refurbishment and have new displays installed to bring it more up-to-date and enhance the visitor experience.

The ambitious overhaul comes as part of the venue’s Heritage at the Heart of the Community Project, which last year secured more than £300,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The work will take place from early November until the end of January 2014. The museum will be closed to the public during this time.

Jane Nolan, a museum trustee, said: “The museum is a resource for the whole community, and for visitors to the area.

“The major refurbishment will improve and extend what the museum can offer all our communities.”

New displays and improved facilities will showcase the collection and tell the story of Alnwick and the surrounding district, celebrating the area’s unique history and heritage in a range of engaging ways.

Jane added: “There will be a stronger sense of narrative and timeline in the refurbished displays. We will look at the history through displays and interactive activities, films, music and song, a history discovery area and evocative images of the past.

“We are extending and improving our reception and shop area and are creating a new comfy seating area upstairs where people can enjoy watching our films.

“We are opening up the view of the ceiling and its lovely stained glass to increase people’s enjoyment of our historic building.”

Work on designing the new displays is still underway and details have yet to be finalised.

It is hoped there will be a school room, a printshop featuring Alnwick’s renowned printer William Davison and a miner’s cottage.

Work is taking place with consultants Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums to develop the final designs.

As part of the heritage project, the museum also has a number of new opportunities for volunteers.

One position is for a trustee with a legal background to provide legal expertise on the trustee board.

Volunteer roles are also available in marketing, social media and to give community presentations to promote the museum in the local area.

Other opportunities include working with Bailiffgate and the community to deliver projects, working with the museum’s collection and being part of the front-of-house team.

To find out more about the roles, email ask@bailiffgatemuseum.co.uk

The museum has launched a new website (www.bailiffgatemuseum.co.uk) where people will be able to keep track of the refurb, as well as other events and activities.