Pop-up Museum & Library presents temporary base for heritage and culture

Warrington Museum & Art Gallery is set to enjoy a temporary new base in the heart of the community while essential maintenance work is planned for its historic home. 

This May, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery will move to a temporary base in Golden Square shopping centre – along with Central Library – to allow for repair work to be carried out on the 164-year-old, Grade II building on Bold Street.

Warrington Borough Council is set to invest £360,000 into the vital project, which aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of one of the town’s key cultural and heritage assets, so that people from Warrington and beyond can continue to enjoy the treasures it offers for generations to come. 

Subject to approval, a six-month refurbishment project – focusing on the essential restoration of the roof –  is due to start in June, following official confirmation of the chosen contractor due at the Council’s Cabinet in May.  

Meanwhile, a new, temporary site has been identified for the Museum & Library to ensure these vital services can continue.

The former USC unit in Golden Square Shopping Centre, has been chosen as the perfect location, with its prominent position and well-presented space making it an ideal place to connect town centre visitors with Warrington’s unique historical and cultural offer.

The Pop-up Museum & Library will present an eclectic mix of best-loved books, IT services, historic collections, exquisite artwork, and more, in this one-stop shop of heritage and culture at the centre of Warrington’s retail core. 

Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director of Culture Warrington and LiveWire – the sister companies that operate Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and Central Library – said: “The care of our iconic building is of utmost importance to us and the Warrington community, and preserving it for future use and generations is a top priority of ours. 

“This temporary move is also a fantastic opportunity for us to bring our remarkable offer to the very heart of the Warrington community, and we look forward to welcoming in new and familiar faces alike.”

Steve Park, Director of Growth at Warrington Borough Council, said: “We want to make sure that Warrington’s proud culture and heritage is a key driver of regeneration in our town. That’s why it’s vital that we invest in and protect our cultural assets for the future. Warrington Museum and Art Gallery is one of the oldest museums in the country, and investment in it will help ensure its long-term sustainability as a bustling hive of creativity, heritage, learning and culture.

“The refurbishment works – in particular the much-needed renovation of the roof – have been planned for some time. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic meant we were unable to proceed last year.

“As the town centre continues to reopen, it’s vital that we maintain our cultural momentum and ensure that people have easy access to our rich cultural heritage and history. That’s why Golden Square would be a high quality, temporary home for Museum and Library services. We believe it is ideally placed to tell the Warrington story and welcome the increased visitors to our town centre as it springs back to life.”

The Pop-Up Museum & Library will open in Golden Square in May, in line with the government roadmap out of lockdown. 

Until then, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery has an engaging digital programme consisting of podcasts, online talks, presentations, online exhibitions, and more, available for free via its website. 

Head to https://culturewarrington.org/ for further information.