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£1.4 m refurbishment of the National Waterways Museum ready for event-filled bank holiday weekend

£1.4 m refurbishment of the National Waterways Museum ready for event-filled bank holiday weekend

 The National Waterways Museum, Gloucester (run by the Canal & River Trust) has undergone a 3.5 year refurbishment, which began when the new galleries opened in 2016. Now, in the museum’s 30th year, the final phase is complete – the unveiling of a bright new 7m high, 10m wide glass entrance area, complete with seating and café facilities. The doors will be open for the public on Saturday 5 May. And the museum will once again be an iconic focal point for everyone visiting Orchard Square.

Celebrations over the Bank Holiday weekend include specially commissioned theatrical characters – based on real Victorian workers connected to Llanthony Warehouse – strolling around the museum entertaining visitors. Graham Boxer Head of Museums for the Canal & River Trust will be joined by members of the Electric Cabaret dressed as Victorian dock workers.

Each year the museum welcomes thousands of visitors from the local area and across the UK. The new entrance will give them somewhere to sit, enjoy refreshments and admire the Grade II listed grain warehouse from a new perspective. An open window in the floor above also gives visitors a different view, as well as providing a reminder of the warehouse’s working past, when its many windows were unglazed for ventilation.

Museum visitors will be also be kept cool in summer and cosy in winter thanks to roof light windows that automatically open and close in response to the weather.

The museum re-opens at 10am on Saturday 5 May 2018.

Head of Museums for the Canal & River Trust Graham Boxer said: “As guardians of the national collection of inland waterways material we take great care of our collections, and this new entrance shows that we take the care of our visitors equally seriously.

“We occupy a prominent position at the top of the square and hope everyone will enjoy this new view of a fine building. During the day it will be busy with visitors and by night internal lights will transform it into glittering glass box.  With the museum’s 30th anniversary this year the new entrance is a fitting addition to the last and largest warehouse to be built in the Docks. And, together with our new guidebook, we continue to explore the historic past of this area whilst keeping our eyes fixed on the future. Our aim is to ensure our waterways continue to play a positive role in all our lives.”

This latest stage in the £1.4m project at the National Waterways Museum Gloucester has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with work undertaken by local Gloucester contractors Barnwood General Works.

Explore Gloucestershire
30 April 2018

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