Project update: What happens next?

Having heard the news of our project funding earlier this summer, you may be wondering what happens next? So in this post Alison Hilton, marketing officer, answers some ‘frequently asked questions’

2Has work on the project started yet?

We are still going through the processes required before work on the Our Country Lives project can start. There are contractors to engage, project staff to employ and plenty of red tape to cross!  You will, however, notice some small changes taking place in the Museum already, as our Conservator prepares for the process of moving the entire collection out! The Museum is still open and there’s plenty to see, but if you’re planning a visit to see a specific object, it would be a good idea to check in advance that the item is still on display. There is also the ongoing conservation work on the Festival of Britain wall-hangings taking place in the ‘farming cycle’, which means we are currently unable to offer the brass rubbing activity.

The collections team are already well into the in depth research phase, combing the object records and archives for details relevant to each of the new themed galleries. They will be blogging regularly about their fascinating finds here and on the research blog.

When will the Museum close?

We are hoping to have everything in place in the next few weeks, and are expecting to close by the end of October – we will let you know as soon as we have a confirmed date. We expect to reopen at the end of 2015 / beginning of 2016.

Will the reading room be closed?

The only part of the building to be affected by the closure will be the Museum itself. Access to the reading room and Special Collections Services, shop and rooms for hire will be unaffected.

OCL Big Draw posterAre you running events this term?

We are holding a public Information Day on Saturday October 4th at which we will be able to share more details about our plans, including the latest artist impressions of the new galleries.

To give us time to concentrate on Our Country Lives, we will not be running our regular Autumn events such as Apple Day, the Traditional Craft Fair and the Annual Lecture.  These popular events will be back when we open!

Our monthly Rural Reads book club will continue to meet on the last Thursday of every month but will move into the Staircase Hall and expand it’s remit to include the University’s Special Collections.

Toddler Time will run as usual on Friday mornings throughout September and will then from October 3rd will take place next door in the Learning Hub on the first Friday of each month.

There will be one family workshop, The Our Country Lives Big Draw, during half term.

You can find details of the Our Country Lives events programme here.

How can I get involved?

Once the project is up and running there will be lots of new volunteering opportunities and community projects to take part in. Our Volunteer Coordinator will keep you updated via the Volunteers’ Voice posts. In the meantime, we are launching a Family Forum and a Youth Forum this Autumn. If you’d like to find out more, call Rob Davies on 0118 378 8660 or email

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