Hull’s much-loved Maritime Museum will close its doors on Sunday 19 January for the start of an £11m major refurbishment.
It signals the start of work on Hull’s huge maritime project as works to the museum’s main entrance get under way.
A new ramp at the front entrance will improve access for disabled visitors and people with pushchairs, who until now had to access the museum through an emergency exit at the rear of the museum.
Before work can begin, more than 50,000 objects have to be checked, documented, conserved and safely packed before going into a secure storage facilities, which will take teams just over a year before the refurb begins in March 2021.
Building work will take about 19 months before new exhibitions are installed and the collections returned to their new home. It is hoped the museum will re-open in late 2023.
During the closure, a range of maritime-themed activities will take place and several joint-projects with community groups are being developed.
Four touring exhibitions will launch in the city centre, before travelling to venues around Hull and the wider region, while theatre performances and artworks will be created and a series of special pop-up events, some inside the museum, will take place.
Once the 50,000 objects in the collection have been removed, visitors will have the rare chance to visit the empty maritime building before works start. The public can also vote for their favourite objects to go display in the museum when it re-opens.
Hull City Council deputy leader Daren Hale said: “This is the start of a new and exciting journey for the museum and the city’s strong maritime story.
“The festive period is a great opportunity to explore the much-loved collections and objects within Hull Maritime Museum for one last time ahead of the major improvements.”
“When the museum reopens in 2023, the city will have world-class displays that will match our internationally renowned collection. The new facilities will allow everyone to access the lives and stories of the people and places that made maritime Hull what it is today.”
The £27.4m Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Hull City Council. It will transform the city’s Arctic Corsair, North End Shipyard, Spurn Lightship, Dock Office Chambers and the Hull Maritime Museum.
Find more information on the project here.