East Midlands-based project managers Focus Consultants played a major role in the opening this week of a new £15 million maritime museum featuring the story of the Titanic.
The new SeaCity Museum in Southampton was unveiled exactly 100 years after the ill-fated ship set sail from the city on her maiden voyage. Five days later she sank in the Atlantic Ocean, off Newfoundland, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.
Focus Consultants, based in Nottingham and with offices in London, Leicester, Lincoln and Boston, has been project manager for the new museum scheme in conjunction with Southampton City Council.
The development involved converting the grade II listed former Magistrates’ Courts adjoining the Civic Centre, Southampton City Art Gallery and the Guildhall, and is the centre piece of a major regeneration of the city’s new Cultural Quarter.
“This has been a tremendously exciting project to be involved in, and we are very proud of the new SeaCity Museum, which represents a real asset to the maritime heritage of Southampton and its tourist attractions,” said Focus Consultants partner Steven Fletcher.
“The team at Focus Consultants has wide experience of both heritage and tourism schemes, and SeaCity Museum is a combination of the two. It’s expected to attract thousands of visitors, and 2012 is a particularly significant year for the museum to open, given that it’s exactly 100 years after the Titanic went down and it’s such a momentous event in Southampton’s history.”
Focus Consultants developed the Heritage Lottery Fund application for stage 1 and stage 2 of the project along with Southampton City Council. The company acted as project manager for the whole scheme, including the building and exhibition works, and also contract administrator for the exhibition works.
The SeaCity Museum features two permanent exhibitions focusing on Southampton’s Titanic story and the city’s role as a gateway to the world, as well as a special exhibition marking the centenary of the Titanic disaster. It has been designed and built to engage visitors of all ages with exciting interactives throughout its three galleries: Gateway to the World, Southampton’s Titanic Story and Titanic the Legend.
The museum, which was opened by British rowing champion and double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell, is expected to attract 150,000 visitors every year.
Building constructor was Kier Construction and architect was Wilkinson Eyre Architects, with the exhibitions being designed by Urban Salon and installed by 8Build.
Focus Consultants, which has its head office at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, specialises in creative approaches to securing funding packages and delivering high quality projects across the UK.
Since its creation in 1994, Focus has secured over £800 million of grant assistance, and delivered more than £1 billion of projects and programmes – including enterprise support, innovation, culture, health, regeneration, affordable homes and energy carbon sustainability projects.
Representatives from Focus attended the official opening of SeaCity Museum, which took place on April 10th.
Focus has offices at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, Endeavour Park, Boston, Princess Road East, Leicester, Aubourn, Lincoln, and Holborn, London.
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Southampton City Council £4.9 million towards the attraction. The remainder of the £15 million was raised raised by the council. A Southampton Cultural Development Trust has also been formed to raise funds towards SeaCity Museum and other aspects of the Cultural Quarter.
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