Director Appointed to Lead Plymouth’s International History Centre

The planned £21m Plymouth International History Centre in the heart of the city, has a new Director who will drive forward the development.

Plymouth City Council is delighted to announce that Paul Brookes will be taking on the pivotal role of History Centre Programme Director to create an exceptional new attraction on North Hill.


Throughout his career Paul Brookes has taken the lead on many culture and arts projects across the country, including being the Project Director for the building of a new visual arts gallery, education centre and archives in East London, Rivington Place.

Most recently Paul was the Executive Producer for the Milton Keynes International Festival, IF: 2014. Previously Paul also held the position of Director for Bradford’s European Capital of Culture 2008 campaign and was Executive Director of the UK 1998 Year of Photography and Digital Imaging.

Councillor Peter Smith, Deputy Leader for the Council said “We are delighted to announce Paul’s appointment because it marks another major milestone for the Plymouth International History Centre.

Paul has demonstrated in his career that he has the skills and expertise to bring together all of our most valued and fascinating historical collections and treasured assets and turn the development into a national class cutting-edge project. We are placing this important project in very safe hands.”

The History Centre will see the refurbishment and expansion of the existing City Museum and Art Gallery into a cultural centre three times its existing size, doubling the number of visitors and creating around 500 jobs.

New Programme Director Paul Brookes talking about his new position said, “This is an incredibly important project for Plymouth; we will be renovating and restoring the fine architecture of Plymouth’s museum and art gallery, and creating a unique visitor attraction and legacy project for Plymouth that will be unparalleled in the South West.
This will include a new contemporary extension that will house the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, and the archives of our partners, the South West Film and Television Archive and the South West Image Bank.
In addition we will be restoring St. Luke’s Church and enabling the History Centre to develop an even wider exhibition and events programme. I am honoured to be working on a partnership project which will also include the University. The Centre will take pride in re-interpreting the stories of Plymouth, its people and its proud history, inspiring visitors to think again about what the city and the wider region has to offer.”
The Plymouth International History Centre is now in its Development Phase preparing detailed plans that will be re-submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in April 2016. The building works will then begin with the Centre due to open in 2020 as the flagship building to mark the Mayflower 400 celebrations.

During this phase Paul Brookes will be overseeing and co-ordinating the technical and architectural design for the centre with consultants Atkins, one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management firms who were appointed in October.

The appointment of both Atkins and now the Programme Director follows initial support* from the HLF, which included a £940,300 development grant as part of the successful bid of £12.8m towards the Plymouth International History Centre.