Portsmouth museum to give the wow factor at re-opening

Butterflies feeding at Cumberland House Natural History Museum Picture: Rhys Davies
Butterflies feeding at Cumberland House Natural History Museum Picture: Rhys Davies

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  • Cumberland House to re-open its doors tomorrow
  • Re-opening follows extensive improvements to popular site
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A MUSEUM is set to give visitors the wow factor when it opens its doors tomorrow after a major makeover.

Portsmouth’s Cumberland House Natural History Museum will reopen its doors following an extensive revamp.

Cumberland House is much loved by local people, especially families and it is great to have it open again

Councillor Linda Symes, cabinet member for culture

Work on the museum in Eastern Parade, Southsea has included major repairs, redecoration, the installation of a new wheelchair ramp and work to bring the terrace at the back of the building back to its former glory.

The old tropical butterfly house at the rear of the building has been demolished and work got under way in February to create a new one which is due to open this summer.

The £100,000 project is the cornerstone of the improvements to the museum with Portsmouth City Council and the Friends of Cumberland House working on the plans together.

In addition to all this, the museum garden will also be planted to make it a haven for butterflies.

Councillor Linda Symes, cabinet member for culture at the council, which runs the museum said: ‘Cumberland House is much loved by local people, especially families and it is great to have it open again.

‘It is a grand old building that needs care and attention.

‘The work over the last few months has been well worthwhile and the rear is now looking much the same as it did when it was built.

‘We’re now looking forward to the next stage of improvements – such as the new butterfly house.

‘This will be a modern visitor attraction with a more natural environment for the butterflies and more value as an educational facility.’

Staff have been busy returning the museum’s natural specimens to their places following the work.

The museum will be open free of charge, Tuesday to Sunday and bank holiday Mondays from 10am to 5.30pm.

It was awarded national accreditation status by Arts Council England last year and showcases a selection of the city’s 114,000 natural science specimens.