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The Dorset County Museum has released details of major expansion and renovation plans that will be taking place in the near future.

The museum, which is based in Dorchester, is hugely popular with people staying in Dorset holiday cottages on short breaks, taking visitors through the county’s rich history.

The residents of Dorchester heard that the Dorset County Museum is looking to spend £13.3 million to expand the museum. Plans include the expansion of the building of the museum and the exhibition of more of its collection of artefacts.

Just over 1.5 per cent of artefacts on display

The Dorset County Museum’s director, Dr Jon Murden, revealed in the meeting that despite owning over four million prized artefacts, only 1.5 per cent of these items are on display to the general public.

The expansion of the museum’s building would not only allow the majority of these relics to be put on display, but would also allow the museum to exhibit displays from other museums across the country and the world. The new centre will also have a learning space and lecture theatre so that schools and universities visiting the museum have an area to hold talks about their visit.

All of these features would make the museum one of the most revered museums in the country and an even greater attraction for people renting luxurious English country cottages and other holidaymakers staying in the south of England.

Dr Jon Murden, added, “It (the expansion) will create extra capacity for us to collect in the future, but it’s a capacity that we can also share with other museums.

“We feel it will support the tourist offer and celebrate the heritage offer in Dorchester.”

The £13.3 million cost of the project is high, but the Dorset County Museum is currently preparing an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for up to £10 million of funding towards the project, with the extra £3.3 million expected to be made up via local entrepreneurs, authorities and other donations.