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IMAGINE: Creating a Peace Museum for the Future

Welcome to the IMAGINE Project

We believe that by inspiring our visitors to think about peace and peacemaking, we can build a better world for all that is free from violent conflict.  

In the last five years we have been busier than ever. In 2019 we worked with over 13,000 people who visited the museum or took part in our unique education and outreach programmes. We support people to build peace across communities through exploring and learning.

Our momentum is growing and so is our influence. There is a renewed interest in our collection. We are being recognised as a vital resource for peace in the UK.

But growth brings challenges, and our current premises are no longer fit for purpose. We are located up 60 steps meaning we are inaccessible. We have no street frontage meaning we are invisible. We do not have the storage space or gallery space to continue to build our collection, and structural issues with the building mean that our collection can no longer be stored safely at this site.

We urgently need to move premises to ensure that The Peace Museum can continue to be a resource for future generations of peacemakers. We have identified suitable premises (details to be released soon!), and need your support to make the new Peace Museum a reality.

The plan

In 2020 we launched a CrowdFunder campaign to support our plans to move to a bigger and more suitable premises. This was a huge success, and in May 2021 we were able to officially announce that we would be able to move to a new premises. We have now identified a suitable location for the new museum at Salts Mill in Saltaire, and we’re aiming to reopen to the public in summer 2024.

The momentum of this campaign has kept us going while we’ve been unable to reopen our galleries to the public, and our team are working hard to make sure that the new museum will do the incredible stories in our collection justice. We are not just moving the museum to a new location, but designing an experience that represents people’s diverse experiences of peace, and engages our visitors in exciting new ways. 

It’s your support and encouragement that’s enabled us to get to this point, and we want to make sure that we keep you up to date with our progress. We’ll be updating this page, as well as our social media channels, with news about our premises move, including packing updates and ways you can have your say about what you want to see in the new Peace Museum.

How can I help?

We are still raising funds to support the development of the new Peace Museum, and donations from the public are a vital part of this process. You can donate to our new premises campaign via the donations page on our website – simply specify that you want your donation to go towards the move in the comments section. We really appreciate every contribution, and any amount that you’re able to give will make a huge difference to the project. 

We know that these are difficult times for a lot of people, and there are other ways to support this project if you’re unable to give a donation. We want to make sure the new museum reflects as many different voices as possible, and so we’re going to be running consultations at different stages of the process to hear from you. 

If you want to register your interest in taking part in future consultations, let us know by emailing us at [email protected]

Project updates

A first look at our new space – 26.06.23.

The Chair of Trustees at The Peace Museum, Clive Barrett, has a message of thanks for all of our supporters. It also includes a first look at our new gallery spaces.

We’re so excited that we get to create brand-new galleries from scratch in Salt’s Mill, in a much larger and more accessible space. We’ll have more news for you soon about our plans for the space, and what the new Peace Museum is going to look like.

Watch Clive’s message here.

We’ve found a new home! – 19.06.23.

The Peace Museum has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £245,651 towards our ‘IMAGINE: Creating The Peace Museum of the Future’ project, to create new galleries and education spaces at Salts Mill in Saltaire. We are aiming to reopen the museum to the public in summer 2024.

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the funding will be used to create engaging and accessible exhibitions, and to develop a dedicated learning space in our new home. Opening in these new premises will create many more opportunities for visitors, researchers, and community groups to explore the diverse range of stories told by the our collection.

With Salts Mill being a key Bradford landmark and located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire, we’re confident that opening at this venue will allow a larger number of people to freely access peace history for the foreseeable future.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, particularly while we’ve been closed to the public. We are still fundraising to support the costs of reopening the museum, including expanding our team to help us to welcome more visitors. You can find out more about supporting the project here.

This project has been made possible with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players. 

Art Fund Reimagine grant success – 10.01.23.

We’ve been awarded £48,883 as part of Art Fund’s Reimagine grants programme, to redevelop our engagement programme for our brand-new museum.

At the end of 2022, Art Fund announced that it had awarded a total of £1.8m for projects which will help museums reimagine engagement with audiences. The Peace Museum has received some of this funding alongside 44 other organisations across the UK.

More information on the Reimagine Programme is available here: Art Fund announces £1.8m of new Reimagine grants for projects at 45 museums and galleries  across the UK

The funding we’ve received will go towards rejuvenating our engagement strategy, including hiring a new member of staff to research our audiences, and develop an exciting new events and engagement programme for when The Peace Museum reopens to the public.

A huge thank you to Art Fund for making this project possible. We’re so grateful to have this opportunity to upgrade our visitor experience alongside opening more spacious and accessible galleries.

New Project Administrator – 26.10.2022.

Irene joined the team in September 2022 as the Project Administrator for our new premises project. She is helping to prepare the museum to move premises, as well as ensuring that we will be operational when we open in our new home.

Packing updates – 27.09.2022.

We received grant funding from Museum Development Yorkshire’s Small Grants Scheme, which has allowed us to buy the packing supplies needed to finish the project. This will allow us to ensure the safety of our collection as it travels to its new home. 

We’re on track to complete the packing project in October, thanks to the amazing work of our volunteers. 

Jan 2023: The Peace Museum received grant support from the AIM Collections Care Grant Scheme and The Pilgrim Trust of £4,240 to help fund vital racking for the new store and museum quality storage. This will help the continued effort by our staff and volunteers to pack up and move the museum’s 16,000 collection to its new store.

Thanks to AIM and The Pilgrim Trust.

Packing updates – 02.06.2022.

We started packing our collections in April 2022, to prepare for moving premises.

With the help of our amazing volunteers, by June we managed to pack away all of our textile banners and over 200 framed objects, which can now be transported safely to the new museum when the time comes. The team are well on target to finish packing our entire collection, of more than 9000 objects, by the end of October 2022.

Defining Peace – 26.04.2022.

Defining Peace opened on Tuesday 10 May 2022, and was our first new exhibition since closing in 2020. The exhibition was kindly supported and hosted by Kala Sangam in Bradford City Centre.

As well as showcasing a series of key objects from our collection, many of which were chosen by our supporters, the exhibition gave visitors an opportunity to add their ideas about peace: what it means to them, and what it means to Bradford in 2022.

For those unable to make it to the exhibition in person, we created an opportunity to have your say via our website. This page will remain open throughout the moving process, and the feedback we receive from the public will be used to shape our future exhibitions, events and collecting.

The exhibition is open until July 29th 2022, and is free to visit during Kala Sangam’s regular opening times (9am – 5pm Mon to Fri & 9am – 2pm Sat).

Audience development – 25.01.2022.

While the museum was in the process of moving premises, we were working on an audience development plan, which included consulting people from the local community to build a picture of what our local audiences want from a new Peace Museum.

We spoke to three groups from the wider Bradford area, focusing on people who were LGBTQ+, part of a religious group, and/or part of a minority ethnic group. These groups gave us some amazing and insightful feedback, which we’ve been using to shape our plans for the new museum. This was the first round of community consultations during the process, and we knew we would need to find ways to hear from more of our potential audiences.

Announcement that we’re moving – 28.04.2021.

In April 2021, we were able to announce that thanks to the support of the public, we officially raised enough money to start looking for a new site to house our collections, exhibitions and educational work.

This was a big day for the museum, and we wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to our crowdfunding campaign, and everyone who donated to the museum in the last few years. It’s been a long-term goal of ours to move to a bigger and more suitable space, and we were so excited that we would finally have the opportunity to do so.

However, along with the good news, we also had to announce the difficult decision not to reopen in our current premises, even as coronavirus restrictions began to ease. As well as not being accessible, our galleries were no longer suitable for hosting exhibitions, as we had to move our collection into them to ensure the safety of the objects. Being forced to close in 2020 showed us that there was a lot we could do beyond our own space, and we would be focusing on digital content and community collaborations for the time being.

Premises specification – 26.02.2021.

In February 2021, we released a specification for new premises, and asked the public to let us know about any suitable spaces they knew about.

Success of campaign – 18.12.2020.

On the 18th of December 2020, our Crowdfunder campaign came to an end. We managed to raise _ to go towards our new premises move, with support from people around the world.

We want to say a big Thank You to everyone who has donated to our crowdfunding campaign, which takes a step closer to moving to a more accessible, visible and spacious location! 

Announced intention – 23.11.2020.

On the 23rd of November 2020, we announced our intention to move premises, and launched a Crowdfunder campaign as part of the #SupportOurMuseums initiative. 

In March 2020 we were forced to closed our galleries due to the coronavirus pandemic, and as well as improving our digital content, this allowed us to focus more on the need to move premises.

The aim of the campaign was to raise £20,000 to support our move, and to go towards our overall fundraising goal of £200,000. This would allow us to move to a new home that’s more accessible, spacious and visible, to allow us to display more of our important collection for the public.