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CITY OF WORCESTER HELPS MUSEUM BOOST INCOME

The Museum of Royal Worcester will close on 31 October for a major National Lottery funded gallery refurbishment that will take five months to complete. Whilst staff can continue working in the office areas at the Severn Street base, the closure will impact on the Museum Shop, which, as well as providing a service to tourists and city shoppers, contributes a vital income to support care of the collections and ongoing overhead costs.

Closure of the shop would obviously mean loss of income, however, Worcester City Council have made the very generous offer of allowing the Museum Shop to operate from the ground floor of the North wing of the Guildhall that faces onto the High Street and includes a dedicated entrance from the High Street itself. Given that the Museum is a registered charity, the city council is offering a 6-month lease at nil cost.

This city centre location presents an exciting opportunity for the Museum to showcase its plans for the redevelopment, promote its new activities and generate income during the closure. The museum redevelopment has been made possible by a National Lottery grant of £1.4 million awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

As well as selling vintage and antique Royal Worcester that was made at the Severn Street factory, the shop also stocks the largest range of Portmeirion’s contemporary Royal Worcester goods in the local area. Past factory workers will continue to demonstrate their skills and add interest for visitors who will also be able to purchase bespoke items decorated by them and, for the first time in its history the Museum plans to operate the shop on a seven day a week basis.

Sir Michael Perry GBE, Chairman of the Museum said: “The Museum’s Trustees are deeply grateful to the city for this generous offer, the shop on the High Street will ensure our presence throughout the refurbishment of the Museum itself.”

Councillor Paul Denham, Chair of Worcester City Council’s Income Generation Sub-Committee, said: “The Museum of Royal Worcester plays a major part in our city’s appeal to tourists and I know their upcoming refurbishment will support Worcester’s drive to be a Heritage City for the 21st Century. I am very pleased that we are able to support the museum by hosting their excellent shop at the Guildhall for six months.”