Lord Fellowes of West Stafford joins the staff of Dorset Museum as they celebrate the completion of structural work with Dorset-based construction company Acheson.
Despite the challenges faced with the pandemic this year, the team behind the multi-million-pound refurbishment is delighted to have reached a truly momentous milestone.
Acknowledging the Museum reaching the highest point of construction with the roof now complete, the ‘Topping Out’ ceremony sees Patron of the Tomorrow’s Museum for Dorset project, Lord Fellowes, place the final brick to mark the occasion.
Dr Jon Murden, Director of Dorset Museum says: “At times over the past few months I did not know whether we would reach this point this summer, but I am absolutely delighted to be joined by Lord Fellowes and the Acheson team to celebrate this tremendous milestone.
“Seeing the structural element of the build come together has made us even more excited for the future and what’s to come over the coming months. As a team, we are very much looking forward to moving into the next stages of the development which will see the Museum turn into the state-of-the-art facility we promised, ready for you all to enjoy next year.”
Kristina Broughton, Partnership Manager at the Wessex Museums Partnership, said: “This is such an exciting moment for Dorset Museum as they move another step closer to opening their new museum. Wessex Museums is delighted to support our partner on this journey through the work of our consortium. These fantastic new facilities will significantly enhance Dorset Museum’s ability to connect people to the outstanding art and heritage of our region.”
Board members, donors, supporters and staff watched the event virtually.
Jon continues: “We could not have got to this point today without the support and funding from key stakeholders including the National Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England. It therefore wouldn’t have felt right to mark the occasion without them.
“Given the current social distancing restrictions, like many other organisations, we have had to think on our feet and adapt to the changing times. I am very pleased we were able to film the event so our donors, funders, members and staff were able to share this significant and very special moment with us.”
Dorset Museum is set to become a world-class, contemporary museum and exhibition space, complete with new galleries, a learning centre, collections storage, library and visitor facilities including a café and shop at the heart of the county.
Working on the project since planning began to help turn the vision into reality, Colin Johnson, Group Operations Director of Acheson Construction says: “Acheson are extremely proud to be celebrating this important milestone today with all those closely involved in this fantastic project.
“We are very pleased at how the build is progressing and look forward to the next exciting phase of the development and helping the Museum realise their vision for this historic site.’’
The new Museum will be opening its doors in early 2021 as an award-winning institution. To follow the progress and for behind the scenes updates, keep in touch on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
Friday 22 September 2023, The Victorian Hall will also be closed all day for a private function. The Fine Foundation Dorset Story Space, next the the Thomas Hardy's Dorset Gallery will also be closed for an hour around Midday.