First major works start on Northampton Museum

Published: Friday, 09 November 2018

Work has started on demolition of a connecting bridge as the first major part of the renovation of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

Wildgoose Construction Limited was appointed in September to deliver the project and has since been carrying out internal preparatory work.

Demolition of the bridge between the Old Gaol Block and the Guildhall Road Block is the first major structural change and will make way for the new link building.

It will create a central connection between various elements of the redesigned and expanded museum, with a triple-height glazed atrium housing a new café.

Northampton’s internationally important shoe collection will be housed on the lower floor of this space.

Cllr Anna King, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “When it’s complete, the link space will provide a stunning new communal area tying the various parts of the building together.

“Once the museum opens again in around 18 months, it will not only showcase Northampton’s rich history, it will also welcome a range of touring exhibitions.

“Our aim is to also make the expanded museum a destination for families, a social space for people to meet, a busy event hub and a fantastic venue for private functions.”

Main elements of the project are:

  • A new 380m2 temporary exhibitions gallery, capable of hosting major touring exhibitions and in-house collections, many focusing on Northampton’s past
  • A new Shoe Gallery showcasing the internationally-important shoe collection
  • A new entrance reception and shop
  • A new café with outdoor terrace seating
  • A selling gallery, with a focus on Northampton and Northamptonshire artists and makers
  • A dedicated schools and activity space
  • A Central Hall major events space
  • A refurbished art gallery
  • New visitor facilities (toilets etc)
  • A loading bay and logistics area

The £6.7 million cost of the project will be met entirely from the proceeds of the sale of the Sekhemka statue.