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Dock Museum to close for refurbishment works

The Dock Museum in Barrow is set to close to allow for refurbishment works.

The Dock Museum will see its entrance, front of house and main gallery transformed as part of an exciting project called Shipyard Town which will tell the story of shipbuilding in Barrow-in-Furness. The project will focus on the rich heritage of Barrow’s main industry from its inception to the present day, as well as looking to the future. 

As part of the works, beginning next week (June 24), a new permanent shipbuilding gallery will be created and the museum’s entrance will be upgraded.

In addition, two new shipbuilding films will be commissioned, a new mobile app will be designed and a pair of new walking trails starting from the museum will be developed so that the town’s shipbuilding heritage can be explored in detail.

The closure will be in place from Monday 24 June to allow for works to commence, with the museum expected to partially reopen on Wednesday 24 July ahead of its summer events programme scheduled to start in the recently refurbished amphitheatre. The newly reimagined main gallery is expected to open in September.

While the main museum building will be closed, the outdoor spaces including the sea themed playground and picnic benches will remain open to the public for use.

The project is funded thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, with additional funding from Westmorland and Furness Council, BAE Systems Maritime, Furness Maritime Trust and the Sir John Fisher Foundation.

Steph Cordon, Director of Thriving Communities, said:

“Barrow-in-Furness has a very proud shipbuilding heritage which has helped shape our past while still having an important role to play in our future.

“The Shipyard Town is an exciting project which will provide us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase and share our long and important history with a variety of people as it so deserves.

"We know how loved the Dock Museum is to visitors, both locally and further afield, and while we recognise it will be a missed attraction during its closure, these works will make a big difference to visitor experience. We look forward to welcoming you all back once works are complete!”

Charlotte Hawley, Curator at the Dock Museum, added:

“We are very excited and grateful to our funders for making this possible. The transformation of the museum will be amazing and allow us to better tell the fabulous stories of the people of Barrow, our ship building history and heritage.

“The main gallery was last refurbished over two decades ago so these works will help to bring it right up to date with the latest technology and new exhibits. We are also creating a new app that will allow visitors to see beyond the exhibitions and will include virtual tours and two walking routes starting from the Museum.”

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