The start of the refurbishment works at the museum are now approaching rapidly. The appointment of the lead contractor is the next big step and this will be completed by July with works starting on site by September. The great decant is therefore in hand, as spaces begin to be cleared and preparations made for the temporary relocation of the museum office. Part of getting our house in order has involved the rationalisation and disposal of items from the reserve collections. As a result of this exercise, the remaining core collections will be better stored and cared for in the new collection facility created as part of the project.
At the same time, the delivery of the Activity Plan accompanying the capital project is gathering momentum with the appointment of Charlotte Villiers as our Learning Officer and Jana Haragalova as the Community Engagement Officer. The purpose of the Activity Plan is to develop new audiences for the museum, both by introducing the house and collections to groups that might not otherwise visit and through an outreach programme that takes the museum out into the community.
Our intention remains to provide some degree of access to the house for as much of the period of the works as possible and we will let you know details once confirmed. In the meantime, there is the annual Garden Party to look forward to on 25th June – our last big event before the transformation of the museum begins. I look forward to seeing you then.
Daniel Robbins, Senior Curator