Creating a first-class museum for everyone in Ipswich

Ipswich Museum is embarking on an £8.7 million redevelopment. The three year project will add gallery space, improve visitor facilities and see its unique collections reinterpreted.

We are working with Ipswich communities and visitors to tell new stories and reinterpret objects sensitively. Scroll down to find out more…

Why is Ipswich Museum changing?

 

Purpose-built in 1881, Ipswich Museum holds exceptional geological and entomological collections as well as rare Victorian taxidermy dioramas. The redevelopment will safeguard these for the future with the installation of new heating, a lift to make the museum fully accessible, insulation and lighting, which will improve the museum’s environmental and sustainable performance.  

Consultation with the local community has shown there is a huge interest in making Ipswich Museum a more relevant, exciting, and welcoming place to visit. We now have an opportunity to transform it, creating a place that fills visitors with a feeling of wonder, excitement, and discovery – the same feeling that the first visitors to Ipswich Museum would have experienced.

Image: Early artist’s impression of Ipswich Museum Stories Gallery. This summer we will be adding content and colour to these designs in consultation with Ipswich communities.

What will happen?

 

The revamp will add gallery and education space, a new coffee shop and improved shop and toilets, as well as reinterpreting Ipswich Museum’s rich collections, including its extensive world cultures collection. The redevelopment will:

  • Create new spaces, buzzing with activity, opening new ways to engage visitors with their heritage and the stories we tell. This will include a new coffee shop facility and flexible spaces for learning, events, programming, and hire.
  • Reveal, restore and reinstate features of the original Victorian building, making physical repairs to ensure the long-term access and safety of the collections.
  • Improve access throughout the museum, including installing a new lift, considering the access needs of all visitors.
  • Collaborate with community partners to create opportunities for volunteering and training.

Image: Early artist’s impression of Ipswich Museum Coffee shop. This summer we will be adding content and colour to these designs in consultation with Ipswich communities.

When will it happen?

 

Ipswich Museum will close for re-development in Autumn 2022.

Throughout the closure period we will be running a programme of events and activities, so there will be plenty of opportunities to participate, including volunteering and heritage skills training. Christchurch Mansion will remain open too, where we will be delivering our popular exhibition and learning programmes. 

Our museums are for everyone, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Ipswich Museum in Spring 2025.

Image: Early artist’s impression of Ipswich Museum Wonders Gallery balcony. This summer we will be adding content and colour to these designs in consultation with Ipswich communities.

Who is funding the project?

 

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded Ipswich Borough Council a grant of £4,324,800 for the £8.7m project, which has been backed by a £3.6m investment from Ipswich Borough Council. Further support is coming from:

The logo for National Lottery Heritage Fund

The logo for Ipswich Borough Council, which features a crest above their name

The logo for the Garfield Weston Foundation

The logo for the Garfield Weston Foundation

The logo for The Friends of the Ipswich Museums

Image: Early artist’s impression of Ipswich Museum Worlds Gallery. This summer we will be adding content and colour to these designs in consultation with Ipswich communities.

Cllr Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council’s Museums portfolio-holder

 

“We are delighted to receive this support thanks to National Lottery players. This redevelopment will do something special and imaginative with our wonderful collections in a building that was specifically designed to showcase them to the public. We are looking forward to working with the people of Ipswich and the Heritage Fund to inspire a new generation through Ipswich Museum.”

Image: Early artist’s impression of Ipswich Museum Discoveries Gallery. This summer we will be adding content and colour to these designs in consultation with Ipswich communities.

What's On

Events

Discover new ideas in Ipswich. Browse the diary to discover what’s on in Ipswich, including fun events for all the family, talks, tours and evening events for adults.

Exhibitions + Displays

Our programme draws from Ipswich’s own art and museum collections, as well as touring exhibitions and work by local artists. We also have an incredible array of permanent displays.

 

Where will your adventure start?