Hull Maritime Museum will close its doors on 19th January as a major refurbishment project gets under way.
The site’s improvements are being undertaken as part of the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City initiative. This overarching project has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £13.6 million, in addition a £10m commitment from the city’s council.
The Arctic Corsair, North End Shipyard, Spurn Lightship and Dock Office Chambers join the Hull Maritime Museum as recipients of this financial support. The DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund and significant donations from visitors are also contributing to the Museum’s overhaul.
The first phase of the scheme will focus on transforming the site’s main entrance, establishing a new access ramp and stairs in order to maximise accessibility for all visitors. Currently, disabled visitors and people with pushchairs are required to enter the attraction via an emergency exit at the rear of the Museum.
Before work begins inside the Museum, over 50,000 artefacts will be checked, documented, conserved and packed prior to being shipped to storage facilities. This laborious process will take the team just over a year, meaning work will not begin until next spring.
From that point on it’s hoped a 19-month timeframe will be sufficient to complete the refurbishment. Late 2023 is the closest the Museum has come to giving a date for reopening.
“This is the start of a new and exciting journey for the museum and the city’s strong maritime story,” noted councillor Daren Hale, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for economic investment, regeneration, planning, land and property.
“Although we have to close the museum for an extended period, the team are developing an exciting programme of activities during the closure. When the museum reopens in 2023 the city will have world-class displays that will match our internationally renowned collection.”
Once the Museum is stripped back, visitors will have the rare opportunity to visit the empty maritime building before construction works start. Four touring exhibitions will also be launched during the closure, travelling to venues around Hull and then the wider region.