An exhibition is underway plus a planning application and Heritage Lottery bid has been submitted for new £1.8m extension plans at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

With the model for the new museum extension are volunteer Kevin Mcallon and staff member Sam Bevan. Picture: Tony GussinWith the model for the new museum extension are volunteer Kevin Mcallon and staff member Sam Bevan. Picture: Tony Gussin

Plans for a £1.8million extension are now on display at Barnstaple Museum.

Visitors to the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon can now view the proposals to extend the building as far as the bridge, with a 3D model plus pictures of what it will look like.

A planning application has been lodged and the museum has submitted its application for £873,000 in Heritage Lottery funding.

Manager Alison Mills said the new extension would increase the floor area by about half, with a new social history gallery that would cover the 20th and 21st centuries.

A graphic of one of the new proposed galleries at Barnstaple Museum.A graphic of one of the new proposed galleries at Barnstaple Museum.

“At the moment our displays stop in 1914 – we have lots of collections that relate to the 20th century but nowhere to put them,” she said.

“It will also have new high quality storage areas and a new shop plus a bigger tearoom and a new learning room which means we will be able to do more things like evening talks.”

New temporary exhibition spaces with higher quality environmental controls will mean the museum will be able to borrow and host items from other exhibitions, such as paintings.

As well as more things to see at the msueum, the new tearoom will be able to offer lunches, something not available at the moment.

Now the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon Trust is preparing to bid for £500,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund.

Other funding will include £250,000 from North Devon Council and £50,000 from Fullabrook CIC, leaving £180,000 to be raised by spring.

When work gets underway, the museum will be closed for six months, but Alison said they were planning ‘pop up museums’ around the area where people could become part of the process of selecting what will go in the finished building.