The historic museum and library are set to reopen after a £360,000 renovation project

The museum and library in historic WARRINGTON town center is set to reopen next month after a £360,000 renovation involving major roofing work, which will protect the cultural and educational center for generations to come.

One of Warrington’s most iconic buildings and cultural centres, on the corner of Bold Street and Museum Street, has undergone vital repairs, focusing on repairing the roof of the Grade II listed building. But there will also be new things to discover such as an update of the collections of the local history gallery, a bespoke mural in the research room of the archives and three new exhibitions.

Due to its age, the roof of the 170-year-old building which houses the Warrington Museum and Art Gallery and Central Library could no longer be repaired and required a complete overhaul to ensure it was safe for visitors and fit for purpose, to protect museum and gallery collections.

A celebration and launch event will take place on Saturday, April 23 and will be free between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

It will include family-friendly care of the entire building with trails and scavenger hunts and drop-in activities such as crafts and storytelling as well as workshops and performances.

The Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, run by the Culture Warrington charity, was established in 1857 and is one of the oldest museums in the country. It presents a treasure trove of more than 200,000 historical objects from all over the world.

The relaunch also means that Culture Warrington’s award-winning program of events and special exhibitions can continue, along with family craft sessions. The much-loved Archives and Local History Services will also return, where people can research their family tree, home history or learn more about the part of Warrington they live in.

Warrington Central Library is operated by the LiveWire Community Benefit Society. Visitors of all ages will once again have access to the library’s full range of books, information and online resources and the team are looking forward to having the space to accommodate regular groups and sessions as well as occasional events such as the next Jubilee family activity. Day and Litfest.

Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director of Culture Warrington and LiveWire, said: ‘The Warrington Museum and Art Gallery and Central Library building is not only of historic significance – its cherished facilities are used by all sections of the community. So we can’t wait to welcome everyone back with our family-friendly launch event on Saturday, April 23.

“We appreciate that we have been closed for a long time, but our top priority was to ensure that the utmost care was taken to preserve and protect this cultural and educational center for generations to come.”

Cllr Tony Higgins, Warrington Borough Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Community, said: “The Warrington Museum and Gallery and Central Library is one of our literary and cultural gems, and a hugely important asset to the local population. This renovation – in particular the much-needed renovation of the roof – will protect the building for the future and ensure its ability to meet its needs.

“I am delighted that this work – part of our ongoing work to invest in Warrington Libraries – is now complete and the building is ready to reopen. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our family launch event in April, celebrating the start of a new era for the building. »

In the meantime, the Warrington Museum and Library is enjoying temporary accommodation in the heart of the city center thanks to support from Golden Square.

The Pop-Up has been a popular addition to the center and has given Culture Warrington and LiveWire the opportunity to engage with new audiences with families visiting regularly while shopping.

The former USC unit features a condensed version of the museum and library – a one-stop-shop for culture and heritage with carefully curated historical collections, exquisite works of art, and computer services.

Since its arrival in May 2021, the Pop-Up Museum and Library has welcomed approximately 45,000 visitors. There have been other benefits such as the ability to support Warrington artists through exhibitions and to sell their work.

The temporary unit will unfortunately close on Easter Monday, April 18, as the museum and library transition to their original home.

However, due to the success of the Pop-Up, opportunities will continue to be explored not only to find ways to attract these new audiences to the original building, but also to consider how other departments of Culture Warrington and LiveWire can be present at Golden Square. .

Warrington Borough Council Cabinet Member responsible for culture, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “The Warrington Museum and Art Gallery is one of the oldest museums in the country and a hugely important part of our cultural offering. . This investment has rejuvenated the building and will help ensure its long-term sustainability as a bustling hive of creativity, heritage, learning and culture.

“As the building reopens to the public, I would like to thank the staff at our temporary Pop Up Museum and Library in Golden Square. They have done a fantastic job of keeping people connected to the unique history and culture of Warrington while these vital renovations were carried out.

“If you’ve never visited our museum and art gallery before, there’s never been a better time to dip your toes in the water and discover for yourself the wealth of historical and cultural treasures that s find there.”

Ian Cox, Golden Square Center Manager, said: “The introduction of the library and museum offering into Golden Square came at a time when retail and culture needed to think a little differently about how which we attract more visitors – and worked perfectly for both. we.

“We have always worked closely with Culture Warrington on events and promotions, but this has really opened the door, I hope, for long term partnerships. It is important to me that we support and enhance the cultural offer of the city, but it is equally important that we make it accessible to everyone.

About Carlos V. Mitchell

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