Construction & Property

Published: June 22, 2022 | Updated: June 23, 2022

Major conservation and restoration work at Poole Museum gets underway by Greendale

Rob Hooker (second left) and Chris Cave of Greendale Construction, with Poole Museum’s Rebecca Rossiter, Alison Smith and Penelope Lovesy and Cllr Beverley Dunlop of BCP Council.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Poole Museum is preserving its long and rich past by investing in conservation and restoration work on two of the historically significant buildings on the site.

The work, at Oakley’s Mill, a Victorian grain warehouse, and the Grade 1 listed Wool Hall, is funded by the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme which aims to make the whole sector more sustainable.

It is anticipated that the scheme will reduce the museum’s carbon footprint by 25 per cent.

The museum has appointed Chartered Builders, Greendale Construction Limited, and work is well underway at the Old Town location.

The investment in Poole’s unique and much-loved heritage will facilitate the sympathetic installation of:

  • 360 solar roof slates for sustainable power, maximising  efficiency
  • 60 new windows with secondary glazing
  • A new dormer to accommodate a larger lift and new rooflights.

Purbeck limestone, estimated to be 145 million years old, will be used in roof tiles to protect the Wool Hall for future generations

The works are anticipated to finish by mid-December this year.

Through future proofing its heritage buildings the museum will reduce its carbon footprint by 25 per cent, saving enough energy each year to make 1.2 million cups of tea!

The work is the first stage of a wider project, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, that will transform the entire museum estate.

Improvements include the development of three new maritime galleries enabling the museum to showcase more of its collections alongside an increased number of interactive displays.

There will also be more national touring exhibitions to Poole Museum, innovative education sessions for children will be organised as well as vibrant events for visitors and local communities.

Improving access for all visitors has been a priority.

Rob Hooker, pictured left, Director, Greendale Construction Limited, said: “Greendale is delighted to be working with Poole Museum on this important project which will not only make this popular museum more inclusive and accessible for all, but also further reduce the building’s carbon footprint through insulating and upgrading areas of Oakley’s Mill and Wool Hall.”

Cllr Beverley Dunlop, Cabinet Member for Tourism, Culture and Vibrant Places at BCP Council, added: “The redevelopment of Poole Museum is a major project to conserve, restore, open up and share Poole’s incredible historic buildings, collections, and stories to more people than ever before.

“Many local residents and community groups have already been involved in shaping future plans and there are plenty of exciting opportunities for people to get involved and play a part.”

A new temporary exhibition, Hardy’s Wessex: The landscapes that inspired a writer, is showing at Poole Museum until Sunday October 30.

Entry to Poole Museum is free, exhibition charges apply.