Funding boost for Roman Carlisle exhibition space

Michael Hunt

Over £1.5m has been secured towards the refurbishment of Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, as part a project to boost the town's appeal as a heritage tourism destination.

The Northwest European Regional Development Fund, which has contributed £1m, and North West Development Agency, contributing £520,000, confirmed the investment will be provided towards refurbishing Carlisle's tourist buildings and public realm works to improve the link between Hadrian's Wall and the centre of Carlisle.

The funding will support the creation of a new 4,000 sq ft Roman Gallery within Tullie House, which will use interactive technology to recreate life in Roman Carlisle and along Hadrian's Wall.

The initial design was developed by Redman Design and is based around five narrative themes such as military, building the wall and the position of Carlisle on the edge of Europe's largest empire.

Concept designs for the public realm works have been developed by Landscape Architects TEP.

NWDA said that the public realm improvements will focus on the area between Tullie House and the Hadrian's Wall Path and will include orientation hubs at key junctions, information boards, seating and public art.

Nick Brooks-Sykes, director of tourism at the NWDA, said: "This exciting development will help to establish Carlisle as a must-see, world-class gateway to the western and central sections of Hadrian's Wall. The city has huge potential to attract many more visitors, to capitalise on its Roman Heritage and to nurture the distinctiveness which gives it visitor appeal.

"The new Roman gallery at Tullie House will be capable of attracting national and international visitors to Carlisle, generating new and additional visits for the city, Hadrian's Wall and the region."

The ERDF programme is backed by the Programme Monitoring Committee, a group of senior representatives from across the region. The group was formed to monitor, oversee and advise on the delivery of the programme.

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