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New phase for Guildford Museum to begin

Plans for a new, enhanced museum - creating a heritage centre and tourist attraction for Guildford - are a step closer to becoming a reality.

Lead Cllr for Heritage and the Arts, Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith, explains: "We are planning an exciting new phase for our museum to bring it into the 21st Century, make it an important tourist attraction for the town and a place that local people can be proud of. Although in its early stages, this is a fantastic opportunity to work with our partners to develop the museum into a heritage hub and tourist destination and preserve our heritage for the future."

We have commissioned a feasibility study for the planned museum project, the findings of which will be reported to our Executive in spring 2017. We are also setting up a network of partnership groups to work together and advise on the project. The first one, the Guildford Specialists' Group, will be made up of local historians and will aim to develop a pool of stories for use in permanent displays and temporary exhibitions in the new museum offering. 

The other partnership groups are involved in different aspects of the project. These include the Development Group, which will consist of community stakeholders and consider what the new museum will offer, and the Resilience Group, made up of the Council's heritage team, which will engage with the community in this Arts Council England funded project.

"It's important to emphasise that this is the first stage of a long process during which we will consult and involve residents, businesses and other organisations. Our partners and the local community are all vitally important to this work and we hope everyone will get behind this inclusive project. We want Guildford to be a place where people want to live, work, play and be creative!" adds Cllr Nelson-Smith.

We are already increasing the number and variety of displays and exhibitions in our museum. Next month there will be a display featuring the catastrophic fire at Clandon House from the Surrey Infantry Museum. In December, the Lewis Carroll Society will put on the first in a series of small changing displays of Alice in Wonderland.

Published on Friday 14 October

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