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Port Sunlight Museum to undergo refurbishment

Port Sunlight Museum in Wirral temporarily closed its doors on New Year’s Eve for planned refurbishment.

The work that will take place this month is the second phase of a five-year development plan, made possible by funding from private bodies and the Port Sunlight Village Trust.

Biffa Award, a fund which awards grants to community and environmental projects across the UK, has part-funded the second phase of the plan, contributing £47,448.98 to the total £64,635 renovation costs which will see the refurbishment of the museum’s gift shop, new visitor signage, the creation of a special exhibitions gallery, and improvements to the permanent exhibitions.

“We are thrilled to have the support of Biffa Award to assist the trust in their development of the Museum,” said Katherine Lynch, museum manager at Port Sunlight Museum.

“Port Sunlight Museum gives visitors a chance to discover the history of the village, its creator ‘Soap King’ William Hesketh Lever and his vision for the village and its residents.

“The improvements will also enable us to explore some new themes in the permanent exhibitions such as the Garden City Movement, early urban planning, the development of the village, soap making, and the history of Lever Brothers Port Sunlight.”

Port Sunlight Museum Tea Room and visitor toilets will remain open throughout the refurbishment and visitors will still be able to book guided tours of the village at the museum.

“2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of Port Sunlight and these improvements are a key part of our celebration plans,” added Katherine.

The refurbished museum will reopen in early February and feature a special exhibition on Lady Lever, the wife of village founder William Hesketh Lever. 2013 marks the centenary of Lady Lever’s death and the exhibition plans to celebrate her life and contribution to the village.

Cath Hare, programme manager at Biffa Award, said: “We are pleased to support the refurbishment work at Port Sunlight Museum – the improvements will attract more of the local community into the museum, allowing them greater access to the history and cultural heritage of the village.”