New store for Saffron Walden Museum is officially opened
11:12 02 July 2014
A “milestone occasion” in the history of Saffron Walden Museum was reached this week after a new £400,000 storage facility was officially opened this week.
The new building, on Shire Hill, Saffron Walden, is the first stage in a long-term plan for the Saffron Walden Museum Society to improve storage facilities, and by extension expand access to collections in the museum for staff, researchers and the visiting public.
More importantly, it will pave the way for extending displays and access to collections in the museum, as the first stage of a plan to improve the museum service.
Tony Watson, chairman of Saffron Walden Museum Society, said: “We are very happy to see the store officially opened, and I look forward to seeing the space filled with racks and artefacts.
“This is just the first phase of our museum improvement plan and now the store is up and running we can turn our attention to phase two, which will cover improvements at the museum itself.”
Construction work on the project began last year after planning permission was granted, and took just over five months.
Ninety-five per cent of the funding came from the museum society itself, and the balance covered by Uttlesford District Council, who also provided the necessary building surveying and project management expertise. The council has also agreed to match the society’s contribution towards installing the racking.
Cllr Jim Ketteridge, leader of UDC, said: “This is a milestone occasion in the museum’s history which will make the extensive collections more accessible for researchers who will be able to make appointments to study objects in depth.
“It will also greatly benefit the visiting public as the permanent displays in the museum will be much easier to update due to vastly improved access for staff to the collections.”
Saffron Walden Museum is running a special Tour de France related cycling display from July 7-14, including a special Monday opening on July 7.
After the Tour, the museum will be running a North-West Essex At War exhibition from August 2 to February 1, marking the centenary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, and a Music And Memories event on August 8.
The museum is usually open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from 2-5pm. Entrance is usually £1.50 for those over 18 or 75p for concessions, £5 for an annual season ticket.