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1st July 2021

A leading heritage contractor has been appointed to undertake specialist works to redevelop one of the most recognised buildings in the city, the Hull Maritime Museum.

A decision record published by Hull City Council today (Thursday 1 July) confirms the appointment.

As part of a £12m refurbishment, Simpson who are based in York will deliver the works to vastly improve the building and reveal more of its stunning Victorian architecture. This transformation forms a key element of the £30.2m, Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project – funded by Hull City Council and The National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Simpson have previously worked on transforming the Grade I listed World Heritage Site - Durham Cathedral, York Art Gallery and Bowes Museum. They are currently onsite delivering heritage projects at the Grade I listed Ledston Hall, Cliffords Tower (in York) and Castle Howard. This award-winning contractor has a proven track record in delivering prestigious restoration and refurbishments projects similar to the Hull Maritime Museum.

The major revamp to the museum will offer new and improved visitor facilities, the second floor of the building will be opened-up to the public as well as access to on the building’s domes, offering stunning views of the city and beyond. This major refurbishment will also create an interactive and engaging museum for everyone to love and enjoy.

Simpson will engage with the supply chain within the Hull area, utilising local suppliers of goods and services along with local labour and skills. They will also team up with Hull Training to offer a minimum of three apprenticeships as well as providing traineeships and work placements to young people in Hull to gain first-hand experience of working within the construction industry.

The appointment also includes extensive work to reconfigure of Dock Office Chambers, a building adjacent to the museum. Work will commence in summer 2021 and is set to become a bespoke storage and conservation facility for the museum’s reserve collection.

The project team, supported by Constantine - an International art transport firm, are making good progress on the removal and storage of the museum’s 50,000 objects.

Model Ship Being Packed Into Crate
50,000 objects are being packed and removed from the museum
Inuit Kayak Ready For Packing
Inuit Kayak ready for packing

Councillor Daren Hale, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “It’s great to see this project moving forward and join forces with a Yorkshire based firm who specialises in working with historic buildings.

“We are reassured by Simpson’s commitment to supporting the local supply chain along with training and apprenticeship opportunities locally.

“There are some very exciting times ahead and I am very much looking forward to seeing the work get underway.”

David Renwick, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Thanks to funding raised by National Lottery players, it’s fantastic to see this milestone being reached in the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project.

“We’re very proud to be investing in Hull’s maritime heritage and ensuring the communities and places which were shaped by it are at the heart of securing its future, which will in turn inspire further pride in this fantastic northern city and continue to build upon its economic regeneration.”

Neil Silcock, Managing Director, Simpson, said: “We are thrilled to be appointed as the main contractor entrusted with delivering this prestigious project.

“We look forward to working with the dedicated and passionate team, to preserve and enhance the visitor experience, creating an attraction that will reflect upon the importance of the site and help preserve the city’s maritime heritage.

“We share the client’s emotional investment in the project and it is a privilege to play our part in the museum’s conservation.”

The Hull Maritime Museum will be handed over to Simpson in spring 2022. Work to transform the museum will be complete in late 2023. This will be followed with the project team creating the new and exciting galleries and completing the exhibition fit-out.

The museum is expected to re-open to visitors late 2024.

The significant investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Hull City Council will see exciting changes to the Grade II* Hull Maritime Museum, the Dock Office Chambers, the North End Shipyard and two historic vessels, the Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship.