Extended and Open until 5th May, 2019!

WONDERFUL NEWS! LOTTERY GRANT A total of £461,600 of Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) has been awarded to Ipwich Museum which will be used to prepare plans for a larger £8million refurbishment of the site in High Street. The grade II* listed building will see a number of changes with a stripping back of the building to its 19th century interior. New displays and activity programmes will be added to the museum as well as extra gallery space, a new cafe, shop area, educational space and toilets which are also included in the main plans.

As part of the renovation work the museum wants to reinterpret its own collections and hopes to work with communities in Ipswich to gather new stories and start new conversations.

It hopes that this work will help people “gain a sense of pride in their town” by helping them understand Ipswich’s past while also looking to its future.

Ipswich Borough Council said the new-look museum’s return to its Victorian roots would help to celebrate the innovation of the Victorians while challenging their world view.

James Steward, Ipswich Museums manager, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Ipswich to create a community-conscious museum that meets the needs of our diverse audiences and to present its unique heritage with confidence to the wider world.”

The museum itself was founded in the 19th century to help educate the working classes about natural history. Carole Jones, museums portfolio-holder at Ipswich Borough Council said: “We are delighted to receive this support thanks to National Lottery players.

“The opportunity to do something really special and imaginative with our fantastic collections in a building that was specifically designed to showcase them to the public is an exciting one and we are looking forward to working with our communities and the HLF to take this project to the next stage.”

Detailed proposals for the museum’s plans will now be considered by the HLF. If successful the museum could receive another £4.3million in funding.

Women 100 Grant

This Exhibition has now closed after an extremely popular run in the Art Gallery!

We are delighted to announce that FoIM has won a £16,000 Government grant to support a “Women 100” Ipswich Art Gallery Exhibition. This runs from December 8th 2018, and will show 100 works by women artists. See the announcement in the the Ipswich Star.

Friends Chairman Richard Wilson welcomed the news: “The Friends of the Ipswich Museums are proud and delighted to have been awarded this substantial grant from the Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme. We are hugely pleased that it will enable Ipswich, through the Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service, to justly celebrate women’s franchise.”

Vice-Chairman Denise Fiennes added: “The Friends are a dynamic support to the Ipswich Museums, with over 50% female representation on its committee, including its President Lady Deben. Research shows that 16% of UK companies in 2017 had no female board members at all, and many boards continue to exclude women entirely. The voluntary sector is much more equitably led, and we are proud that both women and men care so passionately about the future of the town’s heritage.”

Councillor Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council’s Museums portfolio-holder, added her support: “This is an important year and we want to help ensure that the struggles of women to win the vote all those years ago are not forgotten but recognised today. This grant and support from the Friends will enable us to present this in a new and exciting way that is relevant to young people, and I am very grateful to the Friends for securing the funding that allows us to have both this exhibition and the activities programme.”