A £8.7m project to renovate Ipswich Museum is to go ahead despite an online petition against the proposals.
The planned works to the Grade II-listed building include “slight” modifications to the front entrance, modernised lighting, new toilet facilities and a coffee shop.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £4.3m to fund the project, backed by a £3.6m investment from museum operators Ipswich Borough Council.
An online petition, which argues an “irreplaceable example of cultural heritage will be lost” if plans go ahead, had received over 2,300 signatures by Tuesday (14 June).
“This is a beautiful museum of great historic significance and updates could be made in a much more sensitive, nuanced way,” one signatory wrote.
An Ipswich Council spokesperson said the refurbishment will create a “a more appealing and exciting museum experience to which people, particularly local Ipswich visitors, will want to keep returning to.”
The plans follow a “number of phases of consultation” including an online survey that engaged more than 1,000 local participants, they added.
The spokesperson concluded there is a “process for dealing with petitions,” and confirming “we have not received a petition about the museum and will follow this process if we do”.
The museum is due to close this autumn and expects to welcome visitors back in spring 2025.