Newton’s Place “an absolute triumph”
THE first eight months spent at Newton Abbot’s £ 2.2million Museum and Community Center have been hailed as ‘an absolute triumph’.
Newton’s Place, located in former St Leonard’s Church, Wolborough Street, opened in May as lockdown restrictions eased.
Since then, nearly 6,000 people have visited it and gave it a Trip Advisor rating of 4.5 / 5.
School groups flocked in, as did groups representing interests as diverse as the city itself, keeping community halls almost fully booked.
Outreach worker Kate Green has organized dozens of heritage and culture sessions in locations across the wider region, while media coverage has included frequent newspaper and magazine articles as well as radio and television niches. .
“All of this helps to make it known that Newton Abbot has a rich history and a thriving culture,” said Mayor Cllr Mike Joyce.
“Through Newton’s Place we are reaching out to people who might never have thought of Newton Abbot in this way, it is an absolute triumph for our townspeople and those who live elsewhere in the region.”
The project was led by Newton Abbot City Council who secured funding without adding a dime to municipal tax bills.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund alone provided £ 950,000.
“The people of Newton Abbot told us they wanted a better, more accessible museum and improved community space,” said City Clerk Phil Rowe.
“We kept our promises and in doing so we saved a rapidly deteriorating historic building. “
Speaking as the museum’s planned closure for Christmas began, curator Charlotte Dixon said: “The old museum would attract around 2,000 people a year and we are only eight months here and that number has already tripled.
“We knew visitors would be in awe, but we were blown away by their wonder, it’s wonderful.”
Kate Green said: “It has been fantastic to engage with so many people of different ages and backgrounds, Newton’s Place has always been community driven and I am very proud of what has been accomplished.
“We all look forward to the year ahead and to sharing the story of Newton Abbot with even more people.”
The museum will reopen on January 18.
For more details, visit www.newtonsplace.org.