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Museum's new look is not far off

PUBLISHED: 09:49 08 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 July 2010

THE final phase of a massive refurbishment project has got under way at a museum which celebrates Lowestoft's seafaring heritage.

Work started at the Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Museum in the winter and now a professional designer and a writer have been commissioned to put the finishing touches to the new exhibitions.

THE final phase of a massive refurbishment project has got under way at a museum which celebrates Lowestoft's seafaring heritage.

Work started at the Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Museum in the winter and now a professional designer and a writer have been commissioned to put the finishing touches to the new exhibitions.

The expansion of the museum will double the display space, allow for exhibits to be rearranged into themes and provide an education room for pupils from local schools to find out more about the town's naval and fishing history.

The project, funded by a £350,000 Heritage Lottery grant, will also include a cinema and audiovisual room where old films about Lowestoft's sea-going communities will be shown.

Museum chairman Peter Parker said: “The museum is staffed by a dedicated team of volunteers who have not only worked in conjunction with the designer to create the new layout, but taken on much of the internal construction themselves.

“The result of their hard work will be a facility that visitors will be able to enjoy for years to come and learn from the wealth of stories about the fishing industry which created the town.”

A professional designer, who has worked with both the Time and Tide Museum in Yarmouth and Southwold Museum, has been commissioned to ensure the new facilities will be of the highest standard. A copy-writer has also joined the team to create interpretation and information panels to accompany the collection.

The maritime museum was set up in the 19th century park keeper's cottage in Sparrow's Nest Gardens in the 1960s and is home to hundreds of artefacts, paintings and collectibles, from a torpedo fired from a German ship off Lowestoft in 1916 to models of the port's famous fishing fleet.

Mr Parker said: “It is really exciting to see the coming together of a first class facility, which will be a great achievement for a society which was founded 50 years ago by a small number of enthusiasts.

“We ask all our loyal visitors and friends to please bear with us during the refurbishment - we promise it will be well worth the wait.”

It is hoped that the museum will be ready to open later this year. For more information, contact the museum on 01502 511260.

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