Major Conservation and Restoration Work Begins at Poole Museum

Poole Museum is preserving its long and rich past by investing in conservation and restoration work on two of the historically significant buildings on the site – Oakley’s Mill, a Victorian grain warehouse and the Grade 1 Listed Wool Hall.

This work is funded by the UK Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme which aims to make the whole sector more sustainable. It is anticipated that this scheme will reduce the museum’s carbon footprint by 25 per cent.

The museum has appointed Chartered Builders, Greendale Construction Limited, and work is well underway at the Old Town location.

This investment in Poole’s unique and much-loved heritage will facilitate the sympathetic installation of: – 360 solar roof slates for sustainable power, maximising efficiency; 60 new windows with secondary glazing; a new dormer to accommodate a larger lift and new rooflights.

Purbeck limestone, estimated to be 145 million years old, will be used in roof tiles to protect the Wool Hall for future generations

These works are anticipated to finish by mid-December 2022. Through future proofing its heritage buildings the museum will reduce its carbon footprint by 25% which will save enough energy each year to make 1.2 million cups of tea!

This is the first stage of a wider project, generously funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England that will transform the entire museum estate. Improvements include the development of three new spectacular maritime galleries enabling the Museum to showcase more of its collections alongside an increased number of interactive displays. There will be more national touring exhibitions to Poole Museum, innovative education sessions for children will be organised as well as vibrant events for visitors and local communities. Improving access for all visitors has been a priority.

Rob Hooker, Director, Greendale Construction Limited commented: “Greendale is delighted to be working with Poole Museum on this important project which will not only make this popular museum more inclusive and accessible for all, but also further reduce the building’s carbon footprint through insulating and upgrading areas of Oakley’s Mill and Wool Hall.”

Cllr Beverley Dunlop, Cabinet Member for Tourism, Culture and Vibrant Places at BCP Council said: – “The redevelopment of Poole Museum is a major project to conserve, restore, open up and share Poole’s incredible historic buildings, collections, and stories to more people than ever before. Many local residents and community groups have already been involved in shaping future plans and there are plenty of exciting opportunities for people to get involved and play a part.”

A new temporary exhibition, Hardy’s Wessex: The landscapes that inspired a writer, is showing at Poole Museum until Sunday 30 October 2022. Entry to Poole Museum is free, exhibition charges apply.