HLF Redevelopment – October 2018 update

We have submitted our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund! We now have to wait until the end
of the year to hear it we are successful. But there’s no time to rest, plenty of planning and work to
be done while we wait!
We’re delighted to say that we have received Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent from
Our fundraising still continues – even if we are successful in our funding application to the Heritage
Lottery Fund, they won’t release the grant to us until we have secured all of our match funding.
We’ve been really pleased by the support we’ve received and we now have just under £60,000 to go
to reach our target!

HLF Redevelopment – July 2018 update

It’s all hands on deck at Ely Museum as we draw to the end of stage 1 of our exciting HLF redevelopment! We still need your help. We’ve still got to raise over £100,000 to unlock a £1.67 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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We also have some new images of what Ely Museum could look like when our project is finished and we wanted to share them with you.


This is an idea of what our downstairs exhibition gallery might look like.

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This is how we might tell the story of the building’s history as the Bishop’s Gaol

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This could be the view into the museum through the window from the courtyard, providing a sneak peak at what is within

We are really excited by how Ely Museum could look in the future. We still need to raise over £100,000 to meet our target!
If you are interested in receiving updates by e-mail you can sign up to our mailing lists here

HLF Redevelopment – May 2018 update

Join us for a fun Free Open Day at Ely Museum on Saturday 2nd June & Sunday 3rd June!

Visit the museum & learn all about our exciting redevelopment plans! Explore the museum galleries & then see how they might look in the future!

The feedback of our local community is really important to us & will directly impact the decisions and choices we make, so please do stop by, take a look, and leave us your feedback

There will be FREE refreshments all day & lots of fun activities for all ages to enjoy

Saturday 2nd June

10:30am – 5pm

11-11:30 Curators Highlights Tour

2-2:30 Architect’s Talk

3-3:30 Curator’s Highlights Tour

Sunday 3rd June

1pm – 5pm

2:30-3 Curator’s Highlights Tour

HLF Redevelopment – March 2018 update

Plans are coming together! We’ve looked at everything you’ve said and its clear that the fen landscape is the key theme that interests our visitors. We want our new galleries to explore the unique landscape in this area and its impact on the lives of people who have lived here throughout time.

We’re going to look at the wild, watery fens of the early settlers and medieval period, when this was a community of islands. Then we’re going to look at the fens today, our rich farmland and how this is managed to stop flooding, how important it is as a source of food and how, still today, the landscape shapes our lives: where we live, what jobs we do and how we spend out time.
Taking inspiration from the wide skies and earthy colours of the fens, our designers are starting to plan concepts for the new galleries.

We’re also looking at the history of the Old Gaol building and explore ways to tell its stories and highlight its historic features.
The other major part of the project is our plan to enlarge our extension at the back of the museum. We’re going to put in a lift and more toilets and build a brand new education and community room.
Education room concept
lynn road view

HLF Redevelopment – December 2017 update
It’s been a busy few months at Ely Museum! We’re now working on developing the initial plans we proposed for the redevelopment. We have a design team on board including an architect and gallery designers and we’re having lots of exciting meetings narrowing in on the best options for our visitors, our building and our lovely collections.
Thank you to everyone who contributed their thoughts and ideas through our survey on the website or on social media, and to those who came into the museum and recorded their favourite (and least favourite!) things about the museum. We’re feeding all your thoughts into the design work and it’s so helpful to know what is most popular, as well as what you think the problems are. We are planning to have some designs to show you in the New Year – we’ll be putting on a display of architectural plans and exhibition gallery ideas from February and will have chances for you to record your thoughts on how the plans are progressing.

HLF Redevelopment
Ely Museum has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the ‘Unlocking the Potential of the Old Gaol’ project, it was announced today.

The project aims to transform the museum over the next four years and to work more closely with local communities. The museum will become a heritage hub for locals and tourists, introducing them to the history of the area. New galleries, a series of events and exhibitions and welcoming visitor facilities will create an exciting destination for local families, schools and visitors to the area while resources and trails will encourage people to explore the district further.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, development funding of £159,300 has also been awarded to help Ely Museum to progress their plans to apply for a full grant of £1.8m at a later date.

The project will include the renovation of the historic ‘Old Gaol’ building and the redisplay of the collections within it. Displays will be developed to tell the story of Ely and East Cambridgeshire with input from local people. There will be lots of opportunities for the community to get involved with events and activities, volunteering opportunities and consultation. The new museum will include research areas to allow people to find out more about their local heritage. Schools visiting the museum will benefit from improved facilities and exciting new opportunities. A lift will improve access for visitors and all visitor facilities will be updated. Storage for the museum’s collections will be improved to safeguard local heritage for the future.

The museum building housed the Bishop of Ely’s gaol from 1679 – 1836 and has also been a private house, a library and a Registry Office.

Elie Hughes, Curator said: “This is such exciting news for Ely Museum! The support of the Heritage Lottery Fund means that the museum is one step closer to becoming an exciting twenty first century heritage attraction for the local area and its people.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “From much-needed space and reinvigorated displays, to safeguarding existing collections and adding new voices from the community – this project is set to transform Ely Museum for a 21st century audience.

“Our support has been made possible by National Lottery players so we’re particularly pleased that this project has a real focus on enabling communities to explore the heritage held at the museum and to play a vital role in its future. We look forward to seeing the plans develop.”

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