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Work set to start on new home for maritime collections

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Work to transform Dock Office Chambers into a bespoke storage and conservation facility for Hull Maritime Museum’s reserve collection will start later this month.

The transformation, which will start on 27 September and is expected to be complete by May 2022, is part of the Hull Maritime project, funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

With improved access and enhanced facilities for staff, volunteers, partners and visiting researchers, this new store will enable the museum’s significant collections to be conserved, catalogued and cared for.

The new home for thousands of objects within the reserve collection is part of a makeover to the Hull Maritime Museum to offer new and improved visitor facilities with 50 per cent more artefacts on display.

As well as revealing more of its stunning Victorian architecture, the major revamp to the museum will offer improved visitor facilities, including more toilets, a café and lifts; access to one of the building’s domes for the first time, offering superb panoramic views across the city and beyond; and access to a whole new floor of the museum, previously unseen by visitors. There will also be an improved education and learning programme and increased digitisation of the collections.

Councillor Daren Hale, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “Hull Maritime Museum’s collections are recognised as being of national significance and the scrimshaw collection is regarded as one of the best in the world.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, the collections storage centre will complement its relationship to the Hull Maritime Museum, creating a dedicated area, ensuring our collections will shine for a bigger and wider audience.

“This behind-the-scenes work to Dock Office Chambers is critical to improving the exhibitions and public displays within the museum. The refurbishment of Dock Office Chambers will allow us to open a whole new floor of the Hull Maritime Museum to the public for the first time ever.

“Ultimately, it will enable visitors to enjoy new exhibitions and displays using previously unseen material to tell over 800 years of Hull’s maritime story and secure the future of the museum.”

Neil Silcock, Managing Director of Simpson, said: “We are extremely pleased to be commencing the works to the Dock Office chambers and to be entrusted with preserving Hull’s unique maritime heritage.

“We look forward to working with the clients teams to preserve and enhance this historical building and provide the bespoke storage facilities which will enable the Museums major restoration and refurbishment works to progress later next year.”

The specialist works will be undertaken by award-winning heritage contractor Simpson, who have a proven track record in delivering prestigious restoration and refurbishments projects similar to the Hull Maritime Museum. These include the Grade I listed World Heritage Site Durham Cathedral, Grade I listed Ledston Hall, York Art Gallery, Bowes Museum, Cliffords Tower and Castle Howard.

Simpson are supporting local suppliers of goods and services along with local labour and skills. They will also team up with Hull Training to offer at least three apprenticeships as well as providing traineeships and work placements to young people in Hull to gain first-hand experience of working within the construction industry.

Although Hull Maritime Museum is currently closed to the public, residents can discover hidden stories from Hull’s maritime past during Maritime Tales Week running between 23 to 30 October as well on maritimehull.co.uk. The museum is expected to re-open to visitors late 2024.

New Cross Street will close to pedestrians from 27 September to 30 April 2022 to enable the works to take place.

The work is part of the £30.3m Hull Maritime project, funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Elements involve the refurbishment of the Hull Maritime Museum, restoration of the Spurn Lightship and the Arctic Corsair and regenerating the North End Shipyard, a hidden gem along the River Hull.

For more information visit maritimehull.co.uk

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