Plymouth City Council has signed a contract for the construction of a new cultural and heritage attraction that will highlight the UK city’s story and place in the world. The History Centre is set to open in 2020 as part of Plymouth’s commemorations for Mayflower 400.
In addition to its £22.6 million ($28.6m/€25.6m) contract with construction and regeneration specialist Wilmott Dixon, the council has also signed off concept designs for a number of the galleries. These include a natural history gallery featuring a woolly mammoth and a gallery where visitors can delve into the city’s archival heritage. In addition to the permanent galleries, there will be spaces for large-scale exhibitions and high profile artistic projects. Areas for research and learning, a shop, food and drink outlets and a public square hosting events and activities are also part of the plans.
“This is such a major project for the city,” says Councillor Ian Bowyer, leader of Plymouth City Council. “It’s such an achievement to embark on this next chapter. We are one step closer to delivering this impressive facility for Plymouth.”
Let the work begin!
Enabling works for the project have already included the demolition of some small outbuildings and the post-war extension to the rear of Plymouth’s former Central Library. Building work will begin this summer with completion set for late summer 2019. The fit out of the buildings will then take place ready for the official opening in spring 2020.
In addition to Plymouth City Council, major funding has been confirmed from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, the Coastal Communities Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the University of Plymouth and the Wolfson Foundation.
Plymouth is located in the county of Devon and boasts a rich naval heritage. A PDF presentation on the History Centre can be downloaded here.
Images courtesy Plymouth City Council