Plans unveiled for £50m revamp of Ulster Folk Museum - Museums Association

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Plans unveiled for £50m revamp of Ulster Folk Museum

Venue will be redeveloped with new focus on environmental sustainability
An artist's impression of the new Industrial Zone
An artist's impression of the new Industrial Zone Reawakening the Ulster Folk Museum

Plans have been submitted for a £50m redevelopment of Ulster Folk Museum.

The museum in Cultra, County Down, is one of three venues managed by National Museums Northern Ireland.

The Reawakening the Ulster Folk Museum project aims to position the museum as an essential heritage resource, with a particular focus on environmental restoration and sustainable practice.

The project vision states: "The reawakened museum will provide a space to reconnect with nature and with the rhythms of the landscape in a time of environmental crisis. It will offer an alternative to fast fashion, fast food, and disposable living, and empower people to grow, create, and mend. It will offer a space to connect with the heritage we have in common, that what makes us diverse and what the future might hold."

The proposed scheme includes a new Culture Hub that will welcome visitors to the museum and provide new exhibition spaces, and an Industry Zone that will provide a home for the museum’s industrial heritage collection.

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The museum will work with specialist providers to develop its offer in areas such as health and wellbeing, as well as establishing new learning programmes and spaces.

Improvements will be made across the site to improve connectivity between its different spaces, and the museum’s Ballycultra collections store will also be extended.

Established in 1964, the museum preserves and interprets Ulster folk culture and traditions, and includes relocated heritage buildings, oral histories and an extensive collection of objects.

The project has received development funding of just over £1m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

A consultation on the proposals will launch next month, with two public information events being held at the museum on 20 April at 1600-2000 and 21 April at 1100-1500.

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