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Work on the £6.2 million Reimagining Wordsworth Project is set to begin

Michael McGregor, Director Wordsworth Trust with Peter Evans, Carl Hague and Simon Shearer from F Parkinson Ltd at Town End during a project site meeting in February.

The realisation of the Wordsworth Trust’s ‘Reimagining Wordsworth’ project has moved a step closer with the appointment of the main contractor to the project team.

North west based construction company F Parkinson Ltd will start work in the historic hamlet of Town End, Grasmere on the 18 March. The work is scheduled to be complete in time for the celebrations of Wordsworth’s 250th birthday in April 2020.

Town End, home to Dove Cottage, the Wordsworth Museum and the Jerwood Centre is celebrated as a global centre for British Romanticism. ‘Reimagining Wordsworth’ will sensitively return Dove Cottage to the house that William and Dorothy Wordsworth would have known, the Wordsworth Museum will be expanded and modernised, with new galleries and stunning views of the surrounding fells, offering visitors the chance to stop and reflect on the landscape that inspired Wordsworth. There will be new outdoor spaces, a redesigned cafe and terrace overlooking Dove Cottage and a new learning centre where everyone will be able to take part in year-round events. Inspiring new activities will take Wordsworth’s poetry out to communities across Cumbria and further afield, inspired by Wordsworth’s wish that his poetry make us ‘wiser, better and happier’.

Michael McGregor, The Robert Woof Director, Wordsworth Trust said: “We are delighted with the appointment of F Parkinson to the ‘Reimagining Wordsworth’ project team. They have demonstrated extensive experience of working with heritage organisations and on historic buildings and a real enthusiasm for the project. It marks a key milestone in the process of realising the Trust’s vision of enabling more people, from a more diverse range of backgrounds, to discover Wordsworth’s poetry, both here at his Grasmere home and in the magnificent landscape that inspired him.”

Ray Eyre, our Managing Director F. Parkinson Ltd said: “Parkinson are delighted to be awarded this prestigious contract by the Wordsworth Trust we will be working closely with the Architects and Exhibition Interpretation Designers and the Trust in order to deliver the project in a seamless manner.

“All of our dedicated project management team allocated to this contract are looking forward to delivering this project to a high-quality standard and forging long lasting relationships with the Wordsworth Trust and the Consultants.

“The project, once completed, will enhance the visitor experience and will be an asset to the Trust and the Lake District World Heritage Site for future generations.”

2019 Opening times during construction work

Work at Town End will be phased so that Dove Cottage can remain open to visitors throughout the summer months for guided tours. When Dove Cottage is closed, there will be a special alternative experience, ‘The Discover Wordsworth Talk’, held in the library. These sessions will include a film of Dove Cottage narrated by one of our experienced guides, plus time to view the library with objects and manuscripts on display. They will run every hour, on the half hour, every day of the week.

There may be times when both the Dove Cottage tour and the Discover Wordsworth talk are unavailable or when we are offering the Discover Wordsworth talk instead of the Dove Cottage tour during the summer. This could be due to pre-booked visits, events, or circumstances beyond our control. Please check the website or call 015394 35544 the morning before you visit to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information.

The museum will be closed for the whole of 2019.

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