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New Museum of Liverpool gets £11 million Grant

Image courtesy 3XN / UNIFORM

Great news, this will be a fantastic building in a great location. Shame it won’t open fully until 2010!

At the press conference there were a few items from the collection just to whet our appetites including this blue felt bedspread (below) from John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Montreal ‘Bed-in for Peace’ in room 1742 of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal in 1969. It was handmade by the local Montreal Hare Krishna Chapter and gifted to John and Yoko.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced an earmarked grant of £11.4m* to support the fit out of the Museum of Liverpool. This news, which comes as work started on site this month with an archaeological project, means that Liverpool will soon have a new world class museum dedicated to telling the story of this incredible city. This brings the total funds raised to over £50 million.

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 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.

John-Yoko-Montreal-Bed.jpgThe new national museum will be an exceptional learning and community resource as well as a high quality contemporary public building giving unprecedented access to over 10,000 objects from National Museums Liverpool’s collections. The family visitor attraction will provide 8,000 square metres of public space and will attract 750,000 visits a year.

Carole Souter, Director of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: ‘The Museum of Liverpool will provide a particularly exciting new opportunity for people to learn more about the city and the significant role it plays in British and world history. We’re delighted to be able to support this ambitious project which will bring the city’s complex story to life, particularly as this year Liverpool is celebrating the 800th-anniversary of its founding charter.’

David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool said: ‘The Heritage Lottery Fund earmarked grant means this new museum will be produced to the highest quality enabling an incredible array of objects and exhibits to go on display for the first time.
The museum, which will open in 2010, will attract people from far and wide, and will be a brilliant learning and recreational resource for the local community and visitors alike. Anyone interested in the history of this great city can look forward to a feast of displays and activities, and admission will be free of charge. I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund and also extend my thanks to the many people who have shown support for the project, including our other funders.’

The museum will focus on four main themes: Port City, Global City, People’s City and Creative City.

Port City will explore how Liverpool created its own success, transforming itself from a small tidal inlet into one of the world’s great ports. Key exhibits will include Lion, a 1838 steam locomotive which ran on the Liverpool – Manchester Railway and an original third class Overhead Railway carriage, suspended above the gallery at its working height.

Central to Global City will be The Liverpool Story, an unmissable show experience created by Liverpool film makers, writers and artists, using local voices to tell the rollercoaster story of Liverpool’s history.

People’s City will focus on the rich history of diversity in the city from the Stone Age settlers who left their imprints in the sand in Formby through to migrants and seafarers arriving to look for employment from all over the world. The gallery will include themes such as housing and health, opportunity and deprivation, social reform, religion and trade unionism and a key exhibit will be the model of the proposed Liverpool Catholic Cathedral by world-famous architect Edwin Lutyens.

Creative City will uncover the unique and creative character of Liverpool exploring why the city has produced such an amazing roll call of writers, performers, comedians and sportsmen. The gallery will include some unique Beatles objects, including the original stage on which John Lennon’s band, The Quarrymen, played in 1957. The story of the history of the Merseyside football clubs will explore how they have become such a cornerstone of the city’s identity and a special immersive experience in the gallery will capture the excitement, passion and intensity of the game through the fans’ eyes.