Museum project set to move into development stage

Published: Wednesday, 06 September 2017

The redevelopment of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery will soon enter the development stage.

Site investigations are now complete, uncovering several issues which must be taken into account, including asbestos and a complex drainage network.

A planning application is expected to be submitted this autumn with detailed design concepts reflecting the latest aspirations for the project.

Following this, a tender process will be carried out in the spring to identify a contractor for the delivery phase.

In the meantime, Abington Park Museum will enjoy extended opening hours during school holidays and between November and March, plus an extensive programme of exhibition outreach is being arranged.

Cllr Anna King, Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet member for community engagement, said: “The project is running around a year behind schedule because of some unexpected complications and our wish to make sure we deliver the best possible result.

“In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to make sure our exhibitions remain accessible to the public as, let’s face it, they’re a big part of what a museum has to offer.

“We’ll keep the public informed of progress and we’re confident that when our new museum opens in 2019 it will be a magnificent space.”

Part of the project will be to make more of Northampton’s unique links with the footwear industry, with the creation of a dedicated shoe gallery.

The museum will work closely with academics from across the world plus key figures from the shoe trade to ensure that it becomes an internationally significant destination.

Four firms are currently in the running for the contract and will be invited to submit their tenders in the new year.

At its meeting on Wednesday, 13 September, Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet will be asked to agree the most appropriate procurement process so contractor selection can take place.

It will also be asked to agree that exhibition specialist, Creative Good Ltd, be kept on board for the remainder of the project.