Museum invites public to have say on future as conservation work comes to completion

A heritage trust is inviting the public to share their ideas for the future use of the Museum of the Gorge.

The Museum of the Gorge has been undergoing a renovation project
The Museum of the Gorge has been undergoing a renovation project

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is this week inviting residents to share their ideas for how the Museum of the Gorge could be used in future.

Conservation work on the museum, a former warehouse, began in April 2023, and the first phase of conservation work funded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund is now nearing completion.

The work to repair and conserve this grade II* Listed Building and return it to its former glory has included repairing the leaking roof, re-pointing masonry, removing vegetation, reinstating the pitched roof of the Lady Chapel and installing replicas of the ornate chimney pots which once crowned the building’s towers.

As this stage of the work nears completion, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is offering the public the chance to come and learn about the history of the building and the work that has taken place.

They will be able to find out from museum staff about plans for the site and will be asked to give their ideas for how the renovated space could be used by the community in the future.

Nick Ralls, CEO of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said: “We are delighted to be nearing completion of the first phase of work on the Museum of the Gorge, one of the first projects in our Conserving the Historic Estate Project.

"Thanks to a substantial grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, we have been able to carry out some essential works on this important industrial building with striking gothic features.

"We are looking forward to inviting the public in and hearing their suggestions as to how the space could be used in the future.”

The work on the Museum of the Gorge is part of a three-year programme of repair and conservation of some 49 internationally important heritage buildings and monuments in the care of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

It is being funded by a £9.9 million grant to Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to counter the long-term impacts of the pandemic as part of the Cultural Assets Fund.

The fund aims to safeguard nationally important heritage following the years of disruption due to Covid-19.

In total, work will be carried out on five Scheduled Monuments, one Grade I listed structure, 10 Grade II* listed structures and 19 Grade II listed structures all within an area of 5.5 square kilometres.

The work on the roof of the Museum of the Gorge has also benefited from £80,000 of donations from various charities and a JustGiving appeal.

It will be open this Thursday, September 14 from 2pm to 6pm for the public to share their ideas for how the space could benefit the community in the future.

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