While the main aims of the new museum are to preserve the Royal Artillery’s museum collection and make it publicly accessible, there will be a range of wider benefits for Wiltshire and the surrounding area.
Working in partnership with other attractions, the museum will help boost tourism in Wiltshire, encouraging people to stay longer and spend more in the county. There will be new jobs at the museum, with further jobs in the area supported by increased visitor spending in the local economy.
Opportunities for local businesses will also be created as a result of visitor spending, and from the construction, maintenance and operation of the new museum. The non-financial benefits are just as important. The museum will be a major focus for military-civilian integration, with opportunities for participation bringing together people from different walks of life.
These will include a range of volunteer roles from welcoming visitors to archive research or restoring historic military vehicles. The café and children’s play area will be available without paying for a museum entry ticket.
There will be dedicated facilities for education groups, with learning programmes developed in partnership with local schools and a strong focus on creating links to the curriculum, in particular history and STEM subjects. Outreach projects will engage audiences who might not regularly experience museums and heritage, through stories of military and local life with which they have a personal connection.
Wiltshire will be home to a third nationally-designated museum collection (the others are at Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum in Devizes). At the same time, two prized aspects of Wiltshire’s heritage, its proud association with the Army and the uniquely preserved landscape of Salisbury Plain, will be brought to the attention of the public in an exciting new museum at the very heart of the county.
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