Birthplace Project – An update

This evening on Wednesday 2nd May 2018, around 50 members of the public met at the Africa Pavilions at David Livingstone Centre to hear the Centre’s plans for the renovated Museum and Grounds.

Following teas and coffees graciously provided by volunteers, an interesting hour long meeting was held by staff, providing a wealth of information and photos on their exciting renovation plans, followed by a question and answer session.

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Needless to say the renovation is certainly going to be something Blantyre will be very proud of. It follows last year’s announcement that £6.1m of funding has been secured for renovating Shuttle Row Museum, the Offices, Pavilion and grounds. Here are some quick headlines of the Birthplace Project:

  • A new Entrance will be created into Shuttle Row.
  • Plans to upgrade the centre include extensive works to the grounds including improvements to parking, disabled access and security.
  • There will be a fresh, new representation of David Livingstone’s life told as a story throughout the museum.
  • The popular “dark room” exhibit WILL return and be even better.
  • Plans include community consultation with Blantyre groups and individuals.
  • The Africa Pavilions will be upgraded to provide a nicer cafe and toilets.
  • A new sweeping entrance to the courtyard, new wider paths and improvement to lighting and landscaping.
  • A new lift and disabled access throughout the museum.

Renovation Works Begin

With design now finished and the artefacts all safely packed up and removed to storage, work is now scheduled to begin in the park and museum, which will see 30% more exhibition space than current. The David Livingstone Centre now enter a period of change with grounds and the museum closed off shortly to the public. CCTV and security will be present on site during all work. The 13 month timetable is as follows:

24th May 2018 – Asbestos Removal
4th June 2018 – Contractors building work starts.
Feb 2019 – Exhibition refit starts.
End June 2019 – Park and renovated Museum scheduled to re-open.

The staff at David Livingstone Centre wish to thank the public for their understanding and patience in advance, for the coming work in what will surely be an amazing transformation.

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