Jorvik Viking Centre was submerged under up to a metre of water

Flood-damaged Jorvik launches £2m fundraising campaign

Jonathan Knott, 16.02.2016
Museum to remain closed for a year
Jorvik Viking Centre in York, which was submerged under water following floods over the Christmas period, has seized the opportunity for redevelopment by launching a £2m fundraising campaign.

Sarah Maltby, the director of attractions at York Archaeological Trust (YAT), which manages Jorvik, told Museums Journal that a like-for-like rebuild was covered by insurance, but the fundraising campaign for the museum would make it possible to “reimagine it for the 21st century”.

“We are seeing this as an opportunity to introduce new things into Jorvik, to make it bigger and brighter,” said Maltby.

She said the redevelopment was likely to involve new digital applications, audio-visual content, and a redisplay of Viking objects, incorporating the latest research. The museum’s last major refurbishment took place in 2000.

A campaign launched on the MyDonate site has already raised £6,500.

One donor commented: “I can remember visiting the original Jorvik Dig with my parents. The Viking Centre is a vital part of our city here in York – can't wait to see you up and running again.”

Maltby said that Jorvik would reopen by Easter 2017. In the meantime, a series of temporary exhibitions are planned at other locations in York. An exhibition opening at the Theatre Royal in May has been confirmed and YAT is in discussions with two other venues.

Jorvik Viking Festival is currently taking place in the city and is on course to attract 40,000 visitors over the half term week, said Maltby.

Another Yorkshire museum that closed following recent floods has now reopened. Thwaite Mills in Leeds opened on 23 January.

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, which was flooded under two and a half metres of water, remains closed.

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