Plymouth wins funding for revamp at Mayflower Museum


Plymouth City Council and the partnership leading plans for Mayflower 400 are celebrating news that the city has won £35,000 from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to upgrade the Mayflower Museum on the Barbican.

The funding, announced today by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid, will allow a refurbishment of the museum, based on the upper floor of Plymouth’s Tourist Information Centre.

Designed to ‘start visitors on a journey of discovery’, the revamp will create a more exciting and engaging experience for school children, families, local residents and tourists and better celebrate the story of Sutton Harbour, the Barbican and the Pilgrims’ epic journey to the New World.

It will also give visitors the chance to learn more about this important moment in Plymouth’s shared history with America in the run-up to and during the Mayflower 400 anniversary celebrations in 2020.

Improvements will include:

  • More family-friendly, hands-on displays
  • Improved interpretation panels that are clearer and easier to understand and provoke curiosity
  • New seating and improved lighting
  • Film and animation displays
  • Better links with other attractions like the Elizabethan House, Merchant’s House and Museum and Art Gallery
  • Better promotion of opportunities to explore history and heritage, for example at the records office

Work will start imminently and the new-look museum is expected to be ready in time for the city’s summer visitors.

Mr Javid said: “The Government fully supports Plymouth’s Mayflower 400 programme and acknowledges Plymouth as the centre for the anniversary celebrations. I am pleased to announce today additional funding of £35,000 for the city’s Mayflower Museum that will help to ensure a strong legacy for the celebrations. We hope to be able to offer further support for the programme in due course.

“The sailing of the Mayflower is an important part of our shared cultural heritage with the Americas. Visiting this museum will start visitors on a journey of discovery about Plymouth’s fascinating maritime history and its role in building the new world.”

Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “This funding is great news for the museum and demonstrates the Government’s support for Plymouth’s Mayflower 400 commemorations. It marks a significant step forward in our plans to mark this historic anniversary and bring this key moment in Plymouth’s history to life for local people and visitors from all over the world.”

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chair of the Mayflower Leadership Group, said: “We’re most grateful for this demonstration of support by the Secretary of State and hope that this signifies the start of the increasing engagement of Her Majesty’s government across a number of relevant departments in the Mayflower project and its 2020 international programme of events and celebrations.”