Plan for Derby’s Museum of Making takes next step

Derby Museums is giving the public the chance to see the first design ideas for the brand new Derby Silk Mill – Museum of Making today.

The £16.4m transformation project, which has been made possible thanks to successful bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England, will see the existing building restored, opening up parts of the building that have never been seen by the public before, as well as expanding its displayed collection.

Just before the last usual public opening day on April 29th 2017, the project will take its next step, as Derby Museums shares the current designs for the Derby Silk Mill – Museum of Making.

Silk Mill project director Hannah Fox said: “A huge amount of work has already gone into getting us to this stage, much of it directly supported by local people, our volunteers, stakeholders and visitors to The Silk Mill.

“At the backbone of this project, is our desire for it to be a collaborative process, involving as many volunteers as possible. It feels right at this stage to start sharing our design concepts with the city. Although the designs aren’t ready to go into planning as yet, we wanted to share the initial ideas at this stage, giving the people of Derby the chance to see the vision for the Museum of Making.

“This will be a huge change for the museum, the building itself and for Derby’s tourism scene. We are introducing a whole new visitor experience to celebrate the makers of the past, present and future. We’re so grateful to our funders and supporters for enabling us to get to this stage, and can’t wait to see the project progress”.

Architects Bauman Lyons and exhibition designers Leach have been working with the Derby Museums team for the past year, developing the designs available to view today. The teams have held a wide range of workshops with local people of all ages, visitors to the Silk Mill and stakeholders from across the city to help build a picture of how the Museum of Making should look.

Jim Parkin of Leach said: “It has been an incredibly positive experience, working alongside the architects and the team at Derby Museums on this pioneering project. Through our work with volunteers we have found out so much about the building and its collections, as well learning a great deal on what matters to the local people visiting and using the museum.

“Our workshops have been very much driven by visitors and volunteers, we want them to lead us to make sure we gather their genuine thoughts and ideas. It’s so important for us to understand the people who will enjoy the Museum of Making, and not to just make assumptions based on our own design experience”.

The Museum of Making will focus on three key themes: Inspired by the Makers of the Past, Made by the Makers of Today and Empowering the Makers of the Future.

Irena Bauman of Bauman Lyons said: “We already had a beautiful old building to work with here at the Silk Mill, and it’s important that the designs we develop reflect and celebrate the building’s history, while  future proofing it and creating an inspirational space for future innovators, makers and creators.

“We’re really pleased with the plans to date and I look forward to hearing the feedback from those visiting the Silk Mill. This is an inspirational project and we’re very keen to make sure our final designs bring a whole new look and feel to this fantastic museum, while being sympathetic to the building’s historical roots”.