Weston Museum is the home of the North Somerset Collections and has both national and regional significance. In 2011, Weston-super-Mare Town Council took over the building with the plan to develop and refurbish the museum for the community and for visitors to the town, as well as the chance to renew the displays and interpretation to modern-day standards. The museum is housed in a Grade II Listed Victorian industrial building of much architectural character. The redevelopment project has allowed much of the building to be uncovered.
There are new bridges spanning the Courtyard space to provide full circulation of the upper floor, where the three main gallery spaces are. The galleries move in chronological order from the distant past right up to the present, showcasing some of the key objects from the collections, including geology, archaeology, art, social history and many other types of items. There is also a new temporary exhibition space, fitted out with increased security, to enable travelling exhibitions from other museums to be displayed there alongside exhibitions from the North Somerset collections.
The ever-popular Clara's Cottage has not yet had any drastic refurbishment but will have development work carried out as part of the second phase of development. The WestonMuseum team is very much aware that the cottage holds fond memories for many local visitors who remember visiting it in previous years and will bear this in mind with any work, in order to retain the cottage's charm.
A new Learning Space has been included where the old exhibition gallery was, to facilitate learning sessions, school visits, and family activities and there is a small Community Gallery space to display images and items from local community groups.
There is also a brand new shop and cafe space to make a visit to the museum inviting and comfortable and enable visitors to take home a gift, souvenir or locally sourced item.