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Redevelopment of Ipswich Museum in High Street to cost £2.7m more than expected





The redevelopment of Ipswich Museum is set to cost £2.7 million more than initially expected due to unforeseen costs.

The museum has been closed to the public since October 2022 to allow for extensive renovations and expansions, including new exhibits, additional lifts and a new coffee shop.

However, due to additional costs as a result of inflation, the project is now expected to cost just over £2.7 million, bringing the total to £11.4 million.

Works to Ipswich Museum, in High Street, are set to cost £2.7m more than expected. Picture: Google Maps
Works to Ipswich Museum, in High Street, are set to cost £2.7m more than expected. Picture: Google Maps

During tomorrow’s executive meeting, councillors will be asked to consider ways to tackle the project’s redevelopment moving forward.

In a report, officers have set out several cost-saving options, including the scaling down of several elements within the project’s base build and gallery exhibition.

However, even if the cost-saving options were implemented, they would only amount to about £1 million in savings. Because of this, officers have also outlined two options for how the project’s delivery is set out.

The first option would see the redevelopment paused for at least a year in order to scale down its scope and remove an extra £1.7 million in capital cost. This would, however, mean the project could be significantly different from that initially proposed.

The second would involve an application for extra money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), which already takes up half of the project’s bill, for just over £1.36 million. According to the report, representatives of the NLHF indicated they would consider a formal application if the council picked up the remaining half the bill.

Cllr Carole Jones, who is responsible for planning and museums, said: “Ipswich Museum is a much-loved heritage site, which has brought joy to so many over its long history.

“Despite the financial challenges local government is facing, we remain committed to delivering this high-quality project and we will actively seek strategies to mitigate cost increases where possible.”