MUSEUM OF LIVERPOOL GETS THE GO AHEAD
The Northwest Regional Development Agency today announced a grant of £32.7m to support the development of the Museum of Liverpool. This news, which follows a successful planning application in December, means the museum now has the green light to proceed.
The Museum of Liverpool, with a budget of £65m, will be one of the world’s leading city history museums reflecting Liverpool’s global significance through its unique geography, history and culture.
Building on the incredible success of the Museum of Liverpool Life, the new museum which will be located on Liverpool’s famous waterfront, will provide a showcase for social history and popular culture. The museum will draw on National Museums Liverpool’s vast wealth of collections, many of which have never been on public display. As a vital part of the legacy of 2008, when Liverpool becomes European Capital of Culture, it will express Liverpool's confidence as a great 21st century European city.
David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool says:
“The Northwest Regional Development Agency decision means this new museum is now in business and Liverpool is about to get one of the world’s best museums right in the heart of the city. It will attract people from far and wide and will be a brilliant learning and recreational resource for local people.
“There are still hurdles to overcome but this museum is becoming a reality. Work on site will begin in the autumn and the building is due for completion in 2008.”
To enable building works the current Museum of Liverpool Life will close on 4 June 2006. A programme of special events for the public has been planned for the museum’s closing weeks, giving visitors a last chance to see some of the most popular exhibits and take part in exciting events and activities.
In the run-up to the new museum opening two major exhibitions about Liverpool will be staged at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. In 2007 a large-scale exhibition will explore Liverpool’s history over the last 800 years, told through the lives of ordinary people, the famous and the infamous. A major multi-sensory, exhibition in 2008 will celebrate Liverpool as the capital of pop and rock, exploring Liverpool’s popular music heritage from 1945 to the present.
There are plans to take the Museum of Liverpool on the road with a series of displays of our collections in shops and venues around the city later this year.
Museum of Liverpool – an Overview
The new museum will provide 5,000 square metres of exhibition space and will be unique in its approach to display, featuring flexible spaces that regularly change showing more of the collections than ever before. The museum will focus on four main themes: Port City, Global City, My Liverpool and Expressive City.
As visitors enter the building they will find Port City, a gallery that will exploring Liverpool’s role as a port city and the development of its architecture, infrastructure, people and commerce. This will follow the story of the industrial revolution and will feature Lion, a 1838 steam locomotive as its centrepiece. The main gallery will explore stories about the people living and working underneath the rails of the Overhead Railway, or the Dockers’ Umbrella, and will feature an original third class Overhead Railway carriage, suspended above the gallery at its working height.
Also located on the ground floor, Global City will explore Liverpool as a world city. The main attraction will be the 200-capacity Liverpool Theatre featuring an unmissable show experience created by Liverpool film makers, writers and artists, using local voices to tell the blockbuster story of Liverpool’s history.
Plans for the first floor include the History Hub, a resource centre housing over 10,000 objects from the NML collections. Featuring an interactive zone, the Hub will offer highlights from the collections and an opportunity to explore stories and objects in depth. Aimed at everyone from children to academics, this will be a one-stop shop for exploring Liverpool and Merseyside’s archaeology and social history.
On the second floor visitors will find People’s City. This gallery will explore the city and its people through themes such as housing and health, opportunity and deprivation, social reform, religion and trade unionism. The centrepiece will be the model of the proposed Liverpool Catholic Cathedral by world-famous architect Edwin Lutyens which was never built.
In Expressive City visitors will be able to discover the unique and creative character of Liverpool. The gallery will explore why this city has produced such an amazing roll call of writers, performers, comedians and sportsmen. The gallery includes some unique Beatles objects, including the original stage on which John Lennon’s band the Quarrymen played in 1957. A special immersive experience in the gallery captures the excitement, passion and intensity of football in Merseyside through the fans’ eyes. The story of the history of the clubs will investigate how they have become such a cornerstone of the city’s identity.
The new museum visitors will give visitors breathtaking views of the city and river.