The Colchester and Ipswich Museums service has produced a Development
Plan for the years 2008-2011. Even if you disliked the merger of the
museums' services, you might nevertheless be pleased with these plans
for enhancing the Ipswich Museums. Perhaps the most striking aim is to
provide a new glazed entrance in High Street, covering over the whole
courtyard between the actual Museum and the Exhibition Gallery (i.e. the
Art Gallery, for the older members!). This would incorporate both
buildings into one complex and be a welcoming information space rather
than a display area for artifacts. A Louvre Pyramid for Ipswich!
There will be increased emphasis on locally specific collections, for
example at the Mansion adding to the Constable and Benton End art
collections and concentrating more on the history of the house; at High
Street Museum, making more of the Egyptian treasures and the
Anglo-Saxons. One reservation about the latter is that it does make
sense to concentrate on the Romans at Colchester and the Anglo-Saxons in
Ipswich but not at the expense of significantly downgrading the Roman
collections in Ipswich.
Being part of a bigger organisation (now a 'Hub Museum') makes it more
likely that external funding can be won. Certainly substantial extra
money from Government sources and other bodies will be needed. We
commend this ambitious approach.