Galleries of Justice Museum’s development plans unlocked by £1m HLF grant

The Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham’s historic Lace Market has been awarded a grant of £1m by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a significant new redevelopment project

The grant will help unlock the Galleries of Justice Museum’s plans to tell the story of justice in the past, present and future in new, innovative ways and greatly increase visitor enjoyment of the unique buildings, collections and stories.

The layout of the Grade II* listed Shire Hall complex, which houses the museum, will be reconfigured allowing more of the museum’s nationally important crime and punishment collections to be put on display. Improvements to the entrance hall and exit will greatly improve the visitor experience. The Galleries of Justice is part of the Egalitarian Trust, a national charity whose vision is opportunity for all to learn about the law.

The Museum’s galleries will also be redesigned with new, cutting-edge interpretation techniques introduced, allowing visitors to take a more ‘hands-on’ approach to engaging with heritage.

“On the day I am retiring as Chair of the Trust I am delighted to hear of success in achieving an HLF grant,” said Chairman of the Trust Mr Mich Stevenson OBE DL. “2015 marks the 20th anniversary of our museum and is a great time to give it a 21st century makeover.  We have a fantastic site of national importance and this project will enable us to welcome more visitors and allow us to display more objects from our unique collections of crime and punishment.”

The project also includes extensive new volunteering and activities programmes, including work with prisoners and ex-offenders, and the creation of learning resources to open up the collections to new audiences. The museum will be working with its visitors over the next year to get their views on what changes they would like to see to the museum and what exhibitions they would enjoy.

Jonathan Platt, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: “Stories of crime and punishment have fascinated people for centuries and the Galleries of Justice museum uniquely brings this history to life. National Lottery investment established the museum 20 years ago and our new grant will ensure its role as one of Nottingham’s key visitor attractions continues well into the future.”

Work on the new exhibitions and architectural changes will begin straight away and is planned to launch in February 2017.