The major refurbishment and expansion of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is one step closer to completion.
The museum was scheduled to open on 20 June, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the opening is now postponed until late 2020 or early 2021. Building works are now in the final stages, and once complete and deep cleaned, curators will begin exhibition installation.
The museum has doubled in size with the addition of a nine-metre-high glazed atrium extension, which links the original museum to the Old Gaol Block, now home to a new Temporary Exhibitions’ Gallery, Shoe Gallery and schools’ activity space.
The atrium includes a café and south-facing outdoor terrace. The new Shoe Gallery housed on the lower floor, showcases Northampton’s internationally important shoe collection and the town’s rich shoemaking heritage and traditions.
The existing art gallery has undergone a major refurbishment and will feature a range of changing exhibitions drawn from the museum’s extensive collections, as well as exhibitions focusing on local artists and touring shows. The original History Gallery has undergone a light refurbishment and includes new displays on lacemaking and post war development of Northampton.
Tom Jagger, Associate at GSSArchitecture said: “We are extremely proud to have been involved in this exciting project and it’s great to see the space completed, ready for what would have been the public opening on the 20 June.
“Current circumstances mean that the public are going to have to hold off seeing this fantastic space in person, but I can assure them it will be worth the wait. The project team have worked hard to ensure the refurbishment and expansion meets the needs of modern visitors.
“New facilities including gallery spaces, café with roof terrace, open link space, education studio and central hall will allow the museum to act as a hub for the town, hosting varying events and providing a welcoming social space for all.”
Once the museum opens there will be a major new temporary exhibition called ‘We Are Northampton’, exploring the character and history of Northampton, through people, places and events. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates and pictures once the Museum is able to open.