Museum and Art Gallery prepares to close for the History Centre


Things will never be the same again after tomorrow (Saturday 3 September) at the City Museum and Art Gallery, which will close its doors at 5pm so construction and development work for the Plymouth History Centre (working title) can get underway.

The Museum building originally opened in 1910 and will be closed until spring 2020 when, along with the Central Library and St Luke’s Church buildings, it will have been transformed into the City’s newest and biggest cultural and heritage attraction.

Councillor Ian Bowyer, Leader of Plymouth City Council said: “It’s truly the end of an era. The Museum building has been open for more than a century and has been the venue for some wonderful exhibitions and events during that time. Although we will miss the building while it’s closed this marks the start of a very exciting time for the staff, the public and the History Centre. It means we can fully move into the next phase of the project – a phase when people will see some really visible changes.”

Although the Museum building is closing the service will continue thanks to a ‘Museum On Tour’ programme which will begin in earnest next week. Staff will be taking exhibitions, events and community projects to a range of venues over the coming months. The programme kicks off in style with a special ‘Pop-Up’ event at the Central Library on 8 and 9 September as part of ‘Fashion in the City’. Further events linked to the Ocean City Festival and Plymouth Art Weekender will follow later in the month.

Councillor Bowyer continued: “The ‘Museum On Tour’ programme offers a fantastic opportunity for us to develop new audiences while the History Centre development progresses, working with many different individuals, organisations and communities throughout the city and the wider South West region.”

Details of all confirmed ‘Museum On Tour’ events can be found online at www.plymhearts.org

People can also stay up to date with the progress of the History Centre project via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the Arts and Heritage Service’s blog at www.plymouthartsandheritage.wordpress.com

In the meantime, there will a ‘Wrap Party’ at the Museum and Art Gallery tomorrow to mark the closure of the building. A range of activities including dance demonstrations, music, talks, arts and crafts and behind the scenes tours will be running at selected times between 10am and 5pm. People are welcome to drop in for as little or as long as they like.