Somerset’s Fashion Museum, which is set to leave its current location at the end of October, has revealed its new permanent location in Bath.
Opening at the Old Post Office in the centre of Bath, the relocation will coincide with a new Fashion Collection Archive in Locksbrook, to the west of the city centre, to house the collection.
The museum said the aim is for the new location and Fashion Collection Archive to open in three to eight years time, dependent on fundraising.
The current Museum in the Assembly Rooms will close on Sunday, October 30, 2022 and the collection will be housed close to Bath in temporary accommodation. It will continue to loan items to other museums for exhibitions during the relocation.
Bath & North East Somerset Council has submitted a £20 million bid to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, to help complete the £37 million project. The council has also received a £2.4 million grant from the West of England Combined Authority, which will contribute towards the regeneration of the Milsom Quarter, including the opening of the new Fashion Museum.
Councillor Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council said the Old Post Office “presents us with a unique opportunity to create one of the world’s great museums of Fashion. It will be more accessible, engage with a wider range of people, tell a greater range of stories than we’ve ever been able to do before and will help to boost surrounding businesses.”
Rosemary Harden, Fashion Museum Manager said the museum’s collection “is one of the best museum collections of fashion and dress in the world, as well as being a vital part of the heritage and cultural history of the city of Bath.”
“The collection is so extensive that we can use it as a touchstone to explore a variety of contemporary issues such as sustainability and identity. Through our community consultation so far we’ve found that the collection can fascinate, delight and inspire!”
The purpose-built Fashion Collection Archive in the Bath Spa University Creative Arts Quarter in Locksbrook is hoped to l provide a home for the collection and a place where displays for the city centre Museum will be prepared.
It is planned that this building will be accessible to the public, filmmakers, and industry specialists and will host special events, activities and study sessions. The Museum is partnering with Bath Spa University on this new project.
It has previously loaned items to the V&A for multiple exhibitions, and this autumn will loan some of its items for upcoming exhibitions at Manchester Art Gallery and MoMu Antwerp.