The Museum of Childhood will officially reopen to the public next month (Saturday 3 March 2018) following a five-month refurbishment of the ground floor - the first major refurbishment at the site in 30 years. The Museum of Childhood was the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of childhood, and today houses a vast collection of 60,000 objects relating to all aspects of childhood in two heritage buildings in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town on the Royal Mile.
In 2016, prior to the refurbishment, Jura Consultants was commissioned to assess the visitor market potential for the museum, specifically relating to the redevelopment of the ground floor, but also looking ahead to a potential museum-wide improvement. We conducted primary research with visitors and non-visitors, alongside a comprehensive market appraisal exploring the museum’s current position and potential within the busy Edinburgh tourism market. The study was completed in collaboration with Studioarc who simultaneously developed detailed design proposals for the gallery within a wider interpretive plan for the museum overall. The findings of the market research directly informed Studioarc’s proposals, highlighting key elements of the visitor offer which could draw particular segments in order to support the audience development aspirations of Edinburgh Museums and Galleries.
The redeveloped gallery spaces will have new cases, floors and lights installed, with the ground floor opened into a more interactive space, with dedicated zones focusing on memories of life at home, in school, and at play. The museum will also feature an area for film and a digital photo album, focusing on how children have grown up in Edinburgh over the decades. The reopening will play a major part in the council museum service's programme for the Scottish Government-themed Year of Young People.