Halton Borough Council and Norton Priory Museum and Gardens have appointed Mather & Co. to take on the project of transforming the museum for its 900th birthday, as part of a scheme to conserve and create a new museum at the historical site.
Having won the competitive tender, the project will be supported by main funder the Heritage Lottery Fund, alongside The Wellcome Trust, Garfield Weston, Foyle Foundation, WREN, Granada Foundation, Arts Council England, Wolfson Foundation and the Pilgrim Trust.
The focus of the project is to bring more of the museum’s artefact collection out of the store and create more open displays for viewing. The project will enable the museum to better tell Norton Priory’s 900-year history through the stories of its people and landscape. Norton Priory is the most excavated monastic site in Europe, where hundreds of medieval artefacts were discovered between the 1970s and 1980s.
Mather & Co. will enable visitors to better understand the ruins by increasing the display space by more than 60%, allowing the museum to display the magnificent collections more completely than ever before, for a whole new visitor experience. The modern, new facilities will also encourage the site to realise its full potential as a tourist destination. The redevelopment will also include the preservation of the stonework and flooring within the grade 1 listed 12th century undercroft.
The project is very exciting for the Mather & Co. team and they are delighted to be working on a local project in Cheshire. The upcoming opening of the museum is set to be in Summer 2016.
Chris Mather, Managing Director at Mather & Co., said:
“We are thrilled to have been commissioned by Norton Priory for this project. It’s great to be working with a local organisation and Mather & Co. has the expertise to create an engaging visitor experience and allow Norton Priory to live up to its full potential as a fantastic tourist destination in the North West.’
Frank Hargrave, Director at Norton Priory said:
“We were very impressed with Mather & Co.’s previous work and feel that they were the right agency to bring our visions for the museum to life through their design. We’re also very pleased to have them on board in elevating Norton Priory to its full potential as a tourist site in the North West.”