These are exciting times for Chelmsford Museum! We are beginning a £2.2m redevelopment project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Chelmsford City Council, with financial support from SHARE Museums East, the Friends of Chelmsford Museums and the Essex Heritage Trust.
The redevelopment focuses on the Victorian House, which has been closed since January. We have had a dedicated team of volunteers helping us to carefully pack up our collections and move them into storage (Thank you!). The modern museum extension is remaining open to the public and will continue to display the Essex Regiment and Yeomanry galleries, Bright Sparks, as well as hosting a programme of events and temporary exhibitions. The lift, toilets and shop will all continue to function, and schools and other hirers of our meeting room upstairs will all still be very welcome.
When we reopen, the ground floor of the Victorian House will house a beautiful café which will be able to operate even when the museum is closed. Customers will be able to take advantage of an outdoor seating area overlooking the beautiful rear lawns and playgrounds.
Considerable public consultation has taken place to ensure that the new museum will display and do what our visitors want it to. There will be an emphasis on local stories and collections, with opportunities to change them so they don’t become boring and static.
Upstairs there will be a sequence of galleries telling the story of how Chelmsford grew from humble origins to become a city in 2012, as well as new displays of toys and costume and dress accessories. Chelmsford’s potters, including Grayson Perry, will also be celebrated.
We are also working with the British Museum to bring you Saxon treasures from Broomfield and Springfield from their collections.
Our plan is to unveil the new museum and café in the spring of 2019.