Pontefract Museum reopens on Monday 14 May

01/05/2018, PR8789

​Pontefract Museum is reopening on Monday 14 May - with new displays and a new photographic exhibition featuring 100 years of shopping in the town.


​The Museum has undergone a £65,000 refit funded by the Arts Council England, which is in addition to £120,000 that has been invested in gallery redevelopment and upgrades since 2015.

Cllr Peter Box CBE
Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council

​Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "The work, made possible with grant funding from Arts Council England, has transformed Pontefract Museum. The new displays are exciting, accessible and tell wonderful stories of Pontefract's rich and diverse past."

The new displays tell the story of Pontefract from the Georgian period up to the present day. The ballot box used in the first secret ballot to elect an MP in 1872 takes prominent position, with new comic book style interpretation. There are also new interactive and family friendly elements.

Also opening on 14 May is a new special exhibition, Sale of the Century - 100 years of Shopping in Pontefract. This photography exhibition takes visitors on a shopping trip down memory lane exploring nostalgic images and contemporary views of the shops at the very heart of Pontefract. 

Pete Massey, Director North, Arts Council England, said: "We are delighted to welcome Wakefield Museums into our National Portfolio for 2018-22. 

"The Museums service has planned even stronger community engagement and it is very exciting that Pontefract Museum is reopening after undergoing vital refurbishment work. I'm sure that the new displays will attract both local and visiting audiences to learn more about Pontefract's history."

 To mark the re-opening a celebration event, open to everyone, takes place on Saturday 19 May, 12.30 - 2.00pm.  For more information visit www.experiencewakefield.co.uk/pontefractmuseum


Notes for editors:  Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people's lives.  We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country www.artscouncil.org.uk

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