Looking to the future of Plymouth’s past

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Plymouth History Centre …. the story so far

Born from a need to protect and safeguard the future of some of Plymouth’s most valued archives and historic collections, Plymouth now has a unique opportunity to create something truly special, a History Centre the city can be proud of and visitors will talk about. ( Read and see more on the official site by following this LINK )

The project has access to a rich and varied resource of material and stories, from films to images, artefacts, to prize collections and documents. This project also offers greater scope to add to an already popular activities and events programme, so there will be many reasons why people will want to visit the centre over and over again.

Situated between Plymouth University and Plymouth College of Art, the Centre will form the heart of a developing Cultural Hub. Aspirations for the centre include: an archive for Plymouth and the southwest, a museum with stories of Plymouth, how we reached out to the world and brought the world back to Plymouth, a location for contemporary art exhibitions and major touring shows, a new tourism attraction showcasing our treasures to visitors and a heritage and a cultural centre the city can be proud of.


Emerging plans include the refurbishment of space in the existing Grade II listed museum and library buildings with a contemporary extension to the rear, plus St Luke’s Church in Tavistock Place. The plans have now been passed by the planning department.

The Plymouth History Centre is a major scheme in the heart of Plymouth, a symbol for Plymouth’s current regeneration and a museum for the future. The vision is to transform the existing museum and art gallery on North Hill (which has existed since 1910) into a new, unique visitor attraction.

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There are so many stories to tell. The History Centre will shine a light on them all and make them available to the people and visitors of Plymouth in a way that has never been seen before.

Plymouth has a rich and colourful history featuring pirates, pioneers and military might. Peppered with fascinating stories and larger than life characters, much of Plymouth’s great history has national significance well beyond the city’s boundary.

The History Centre is expected to open as the flagship building for the Mayflower 400 commemorations in spring 2020.

Hopefully, once the new development is open, there will be spaces for CAN members to put on their own forms of art, have workshops, and also have stalls for displaying their work and other opportunities.


This blog has been written by Michael Moore – from the Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. ( Michael is a Plymouth CAN Steering Group member)

Other info and links


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