Hull’s much loved Maritime Museum will close its doors on Sunday 19 January 2020 for the start of works to deliver an £11m major refurbishment.This first element of the Hull’s maritime project will commence as work to the main entrance get underway. With support from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund and significant donations from visitors, a new access ramp and stairs, improving the experience for all its visitors, are to be installed.The new ramp at the front entrance will complement the museum’s façade as well as offering an improved welcome for more people, providing all visitors with the same high quality experience. Currently, disabled visitors and people with pushchairs are required to access the museum via the emergency exit, at the rear of the museum.
Before the transformational work can start inside the museum, more than 50,000 unique and culturally priceless objects have to be checked, documented, conserved and safely packed before going to secure storage facilities. It will take the team just over a year to move the collections before the full refurbishment of the museum commences in spring 2021. It is hoped that the building work will take approximately 19 months, before the new exhibitions are installed and the collections returned to their new home. It is hoped the museum will re-open late 2023.
During the closure a vast range of maritime themed activities will take place and several joint projects with a range of community groups are being developed. Four touring exhibitions will be launched in the city centre, before travelling to venues around Hull and the wider region.Newly commissioned theatre performances and artworks will be created and a series of special pop-up events, some inside the museum, will take place.Once the 50,000 objects in the collection have been removed, visitors will have the rare opportunity to visit the empty maritime building before the construction works start. The public will also have the chance to vote for their favourite objects which will go display in the museum when it re-opens.Councillor Daren Hale, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment, Regeneration, Planning, Land and Property, said: “This is the start of a new and exciting journey for the museum and the city’s strong maritime story.“The festive period is a great opportunity to explore the much-loved collections and objects within Hull Maritime Museum for one last time ahead of the major improvements.“Although we have to close the museum for an extended period, the team are developing an exciting programme of activities during the closure. When the museum reopens in 2023 the city will have world-class displays that will match our internationally renowned collection.“The new facilities will allow everyone to access the lives and stories of the people and places that made maritime Hull what it is today.”
The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded Hull City Council a grant of £13.6m on 2 October 2019, along with a £10m commitment from the council.The Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Hull City Council transforming five key maritime treasures, these include – the Arctic Corsair, North End Shipyard, Spurn Lightship, Dock Office Chambers and the Hull Maritime Museum.For more information on the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project, visit maritimehull.co.uk or follow @Hullmaritime onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.