The Bowes Museum > About > Our History > Projects

Projects


Since 2005 significant improvements have been made to The Bowes Museum. Its roof has been fully renewed making the building watertight; the ground floor has been totally renovated, providing introductory galleries, an enlarged café and gift shop and a new reception area; new galleries have been created on the 1st and 2nd floors; and a new paintings store, library and reading room have been built; a gallery devoted to English Interiors 1500 - 1900, and a redeveloped park. Supporters have included:

Heritage Lottery Fund

One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership

English Heritage

Northern Rock Foundation

The Monument Trust

The Foyle Foundation

DCMS / Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund

Garfield Weston Foundation

European Regional Development Fund

Designation Challenge Fund

Durham County Council

The Shears Foundation

County Durham Foundation

The Friends of The Bowes Museum

The Headley Trust

The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust

Sir James Knott Trust

Mercers Charitable Foundation

Welton Foundation

Idlewild Trust

Margaret Phyllis Mewhort Trust

Fenwick Ltd

P T Settlement

The Bill & May Hodgson Charitable Trust administered by Dickinson Dees

Completed Projects


The Bowes Museum has undergone a series of projects to improve facilities and its infrastructure.  These include refurbishments to the following areas:

Entrance Hall

Café Bowes, Shop and Visitor Amenities

Gallery of English Interiors 1500 - 1900

Temporary Exhibition Gallery

Fashion & Textiles Gallery

Accessible Store

Picture Galleries

Silver and Metals Gallery

Function Suite

The Reference Library & Archives Reading Room

Park and Gardens

Ceramics Galleries

 

Current and Future Projects


After a considerable period of capital redevelopments, The Bowes Museum is planning its final stage of improvements which include making better use of its storage facilities, giving greater access to its public areas and more. It is also running an ambitious project to mark the centenary of the First World War. To learn more about what is happening, and what is planned for this project, visit our WW1 Project website:

Visit WW1 website.

Information about reopening


We are delighted the Prime Minister has announced that museums can reopen this summer. We understand you are excited at the prospect of visiting The Bowes Museum and would like to assure you we have been developing plans to welcome you back into our beautiful building by late August; we are working on vital social distancing measures so you, staff and volunteers can be confident of a safe environment which everyone can enjoy.

We take pride in offering a relaxed and enjoyable day out for all the family, and with that in mind we are extending the Museum passes we have issued in the last year. Our exceptional Norman Cornish exhibition will continue until Autumn 2020 and we are planning to release details of a packed events programme, including the Christmas Market, over the coming weeks.

In the meantime the grounds of The Bowes Museum are open to be enjoyed by walkers and cyclists, in line with the government guidance on COVID-19. The parkland can be accessed through the front pedestrian gates between 10.30-4.45 daily. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and understanding, and ask people to respect social distancing guidelines when they visit.

You can keep up to date with developments, including our reopening date here or on our Facebook and Twitter.