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Jewry Wall Museum set for £1m revamp

Jewry wall

Investment of more than £1m is due to be approved in order to revamp the site of Leicester’s finest Roman remains at Jewry Wall Museum.

The site, which is home to one of the tallest surviving civilian Roman structures in the UK, along with the remains of a Roman bathhouse, is set to benefit from an overhaul which will both improve public access and redesign the exhibition housed in the museum.

Back in 2015 Leicester City Council purchased the former Vaughan College buildings, which form the boundary of the site and are joined to the Jewry Wall Museum.

The plans will see a new walkway built to bring visitors into the museum, giving them a panoramic view down onto the stunning ancient ruins. It will run along the edge of the site from St Nicholas Church towards the old Vaughan College terrace.

Other works will include repairing the cobbled surface of St Nicholas Walk, which has been covered by modern asphalt, replacing railings as part of the new walkway, and smaller improvements to the terrace, seating and outdoor interpretation panels.

The city council is due to approve spending £950,000 on the new walkway, terrace and path improvements. In addition, £193,000 is to be set aside to procure a coordinated design proposal to refurbish the rest of the Jewry Wall/Vaughan College complex.

The funding would come from Leicester City Council’s Economic Action Plan.
The city council has been making smaller improvements since earlier this year, including cleaning the buildings, repainting fascias and improving public access.
Other works are due to be carried out in conjunction with the Friends of Jewry Wall group, including pathway repairs and improvements, and new interpretation material.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Jewry Wall Museum houses some stunning Roman remains, with the wall itself being among the largest surviving structures of its kind anywhere in the UK, so we really need to make more of this unique site.

“Designers Levitate have drawn up plans of how a new walkway would create both better public access and give visitors the chance to view the site from above.
“In addition to the improvements we’ve drawn up, we want to see coordinated designs for how the rest of the site can be improved and integrated, so that as a city we can really give this fantastic Roman site the profile it deserves."

A final decision on the spending is due to be made in early September.

The plans will still need planning permission, scheduled monument consent and listed building consent before work can begin.

If approved, construction could begin in early 2017 for completion in late summer 2017.