ARCHITECTS have been appointed for a major scheme to renovate and expand the Dorset County Museum.

Carmody Groarke has been selected to work on the grade two listed building in Dorchester.

The £6million project will see the creation of new galleries for art, natural history and costume and textiles.

The completed scheme will also include a brand new custom-built exhibition space as well as a world class archival facility.

The aim is for a series of new buildings and spaces that will provide more public access to the museum’s vast collection.

Once completed, the Collections Discovery Centre will include new facilities for displays, education, research and the proper storage of reserve collections.

The Dorset County Museum currently holds around 3.5million objects, including one of the most important fossil collections in the country and the Thomas Hardy Archive.

Carmody Groarke will work with the museum to allow different curatorial interpretations of the collections and the variety of environmental conditions they require.

Director of the Dorset County Museum Jon Murden said: “We see Carmody Groarke as a critical member of the team who will help turn our vision into reality.

“They have a track record of inspirational museum and heritage projects and helping smaller charitable organisations secure significant levels of funding to achieve their objectives.”

For additional expertise the museum is also working with funding applications specialist Stephen Escritt of Counterculture.

The team at the Dorset County Museum is already working hard on fundraising for the project, with money already received from private donors, individuals and some charitable trusts.

The museum has also been running an appeal that sees anyone pledging £100 receive a personalised plaque on its main staircase in return.

Future plans if building work gets the go ahead include a ‘buy a brick’ campaign.

For more information about the fundraising project and how to get involved contact David Taylor on 01305 262735.