International Slavery Museum Expansion Plan Approved

Planning permission has been granted for plans to extend the International Slavery Museum.

Currently the museum is contained within the Merseyside Maritime Museum and entered on the third floor. The new plans will see the museum have its own entrance at the Dock Traffic Office and a striking glass walkway will connect the two buildings.

As part of the expansion the Dock Traffic Office will also house a new resource centre for the International Slavery Museum. This will include exhibition space, education and research facilities, a resource centre and community zones.

The International Slavery Museum opened in August 2007 and in March 2010 welcomed its millionth visitor. It is the only museum of its kind to look at aspects of historical and contemporary slavery as well as being an international hub for resources on human rights issues.

Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum, said:

“It’s great news that planning permission has been granted as we need to build on the success and growing influence of the museum.

“It’s important we expand and offer more in terms of educational and community space as facilities for family history research. We will have a state-of-the-art performance space and areas where school groups can have breakout sessions.”

The scheme has been designed by Liverpool architects Austin-Smith:Lord, who are based in the Port of Liverpool Building.

The development work is subject to funding but could be completed by 2012.

At present, the Dock Traffic Office building houses National Museums Liverpool staff. The Grade 1 listed building was built in 1848 and in recent years was the home of Granada TV.

The expansion plans form phase two of the development of the International Slavery Museum.

The opening of phase one, the exhibition galleries, took place on 23 August 2007 – international Slavery Remembrance Day. The date was also significant because 2007 was the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain, and the city of Liverpool’s 800th birthday.

Image: Illustration of the glass walkway between the Dock Traffic Office and International Slavery Museum displays in the Maritime Museum building

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