Wardown House, Museum and Gallery underwent a major redevelopment project beginning in 2014 when we were successful with a Heritage Lottery Funding bid for a 'Development Year.' The project would see the futureproofing of the museum, conserving the history of the building and transforming the way its story is told. In Autumn 2014 the architects and designers were appointed to the project and in Spring 2015 the museum's new name and the conceptual designs for the rooms were released. The project would see new areas of the building opened up, the ground floor improved and furnished to give visitors an insight into the house as a family home during the Victorian period, whilst also telling the story of Luton’s transformation to the exciting and diverse town it is today.
The cost of the redevelopment was £3.5m, with the Heritage Lottery Fund generously funding £1.8m and other trusts funding £1.5m in October 2015. Wardown House, Museum and Gallery closed its doors on Sunday 13 March 2016 and work commenced on Monday 6 June. The Museum team themselves also had a public fundraising target of £35,000 to achieve during the redevelopment period. Thanks to Museum Makers and other supporters we were able to meet this target. On Saturday 8 April, Wardown House, Museum and Gallery reopened its doors to the public.
The museum team and museum makers continue to fundraise for Wardown in order to maintain and restore our collections. If you would like to help us you can pick up a home donation box to collect the loose change around your house, then either visit us at Wardown House, Museum and Gallery and ask a member of our Front of House team or email us at, firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post one out to you. Or donate online today here.
The transformation of Wardown House, Museum and Gallery will leave a legacy for future generations, opening up this beautiful Grade II listed building for all our visitors and the local community.
The plans for the redevelopment included:
- Restoring and conserving the building.
- Opening up the lower ground floor and first floors of the main building so visitors can explore previously unseen parts of the museum.
- Greatly improving access throughout the building.
- Creating more spaces for our collections to be seen and enjoyed.
- Creating new facilities for visitors including a new café.
What next for Museum Makers?
Museum Makers were central to our redevelopment plans. Over the course of the project, there were numerous opportunities for Museum Makers to get involved but the challenge is only just beginning. In order for the legacy to continue we need ongoingsupport and help in raising awareness of the museum, its collections and the restoration work needed to maintain it's exceptionally high standards. We will continue to post challenges via our website and through our newsletter, where we need support and we would encourage all Museum Makers to get involved and share your ideas, time and skill. Whether you only have minutes to spare, can give an hour, are able to donate a day or make it regular then we would love you to get involved.
Be sure to keep up to date with the latest information about Wardown House, Museum and Gallery through our website and social media platforms.